Notre Dame

Notre Dame

Everett Golson has played his last game at Notre Dame.

ESPN's Brett McMurphy first reported Thursday Golson will transfer to play his final year of eligibility elsewhere. By virtue of graduating this month, the quarterback is free to transfer as a one-year graduate student.

In a statement provided to Fox Sports, Golson said transferring from Notre Dame is in his "best interest."

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly released a statement addressing Golson's departure Thursday afternoon.

“I’d like to thank Everett Golson for all he did as a member of our football program," Kelly said. "He had many significant achievements, including helping us to an undefeated regular season and berth into the national title game. But his most important accomplishment is completing his course work toward a degree from the University of Notre Dame. I wish him all the best moving forward.

“We, of course, have approached our preparations for the upcoming season with this possibility in mind. The emergence of Malik Zaire, based on his performance in the Music City Bowl win over LSU, and throughout spring practice, has given our staff supreme confidence that he can lead our team to great success in 2015.”

[MORE: Notre Dame hands keys to the offense to Malik Zaire]

Golson declined to speak to the media during spring practice, which as it turns out was a pretty clear sign he was considering an exit from South Bend (he could've come out and said he was staying, but did not). Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly did say during spring practice Golson wasn't giving him signs he would transfer when the opportunity presented itself.

 

"I’m not shocked by anything that 18-21 year olds do," Kelly said on April 11, "but there’s no indication in anything that he’s done would mean that he’s just doing this as a way to go somewhere else.”

Had Golson stuck around Notre Dame, he would've had to share a to-be-determined portion of the snaps with redshirt sophomore Malik Zaire, who started the Music City Bowl and took half the first-team reps during spring practice. A rumor surfaced in January of interest between Golson and LSU. Plenty of high-profile programs likely will court the South Carolina native, who accounted for 37 touchdowns -- but 22 turnovers -- in 2014.

[MORE: Was Everett Golson unlucky in 2014?]

Golson was suspended for the 2013 season due to an academic violation. He started 23 games during his career at Notre Dame and threw for 5,850 yards with 41 touchdowns and 20 interceptions.

A Notre Dame spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Golson's status, though Fox Sports' Bruce Feldman reported Golson informed Kelly of his decision to transfer this morning.