SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly says quarterback Everett Golson will return to school after serving a semester-long suspension for academic impropriety.
"There's going to be a lot of noise surrounding Everett Golson. I think there's going to be as many people looking for him to not succeed as there will be to succeed. Unfortunately, not everybody likes a good story. So there will be some cynics out there," Kelly said. "I think we're going to have to support him. But he's prepared to handle all those things."
Golson was suspended from the university in May for the fall semester and readmitted to school on Friday. He will not begin working out with the team until after the 25th-ranked Irish (8-4) play Rutgers (6-6) in the Pinstripe Bowl in New York City on Dec. 28.
Golson plans to travel to New York on his own and will visit with the team, Kelly said. He has not talked to Golson since he had been readmitted, saying they had missed each other's telephone calls. But Kelly traveled to Golson's hometown of Myrtle Beach, S.C., on Tuesday to meet with him.
Golson, who was listed at 185 pounds when Notre Dame faced Alabama in the national championship game last year, looked "physically more mature, probably over 200 pounds," Kelly said. "He looked great, quite frankly. Great physical condition and I think mentally is really where I saw a young man that understands what he's coming back to."
The Irish will be looking for more from Golson, whom Kelly said still needs to beat out freshman Malik Zaire, who didn't play this season. Golson put up decent numbers last season, but needed to be rescued several times by Tommy Rees, who started for the Irish this season.
Kelly said he believes Golson is set up to be a leader on the team by the way he handled being suspended.