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QB Everett Golson transferring from Notre Dame, eligible to play in 2015

The QB will be eligible to play for any team this season, and the Notre Dame job now essentially belongs to Malik Zaire.

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson is transferring from the Fighting Irish to play his final season at a different school.

Golson is scheduled to graduate from Notre Dame in May and would be immediately eligible to play for any team as a graduate transfer. While he'll have several suitors, could the South Carolina native wind up in the SEC? He'd need an additional waiver to do so.

Golson started all 12 regular season games last year, but was on the sidelines to start the Music City Bowl. Malik Zaire started in place, but both got time in Notre Dame's 31-28 win over LSU.

"We, of course, have approached our preparations for the upcoming season with this possibility in mind," head coach Brian Kelly said in a statement. "The emergence of Malik Zaire ... has given our staff supreme confidence."

Zaire impressed not only in the bowl, but also during spring, such as when he threw this 60-yard bomb.

One of the reasons for Golson's benching was his inconsistent play, as Notre Dame lost five of its final six regular season games. He finished the year with 3,445 passing yards and 29 touchdowns, and he rushed for 283 yards. He was plagued by turnovers, throwing 14 interceptions and fumbling away eight times.

As a redshirt freshman, he led the Irish to an undefeated regular season and the 2012 BCS Championship. He was then suspended for the 2013 fall semester because of "poor academic judgment." Golson was reinstated in December 2013, then won back the starting job.

"I would like to thank everyone at Notre Dame for the opportunity to compete at the highest level of college football, but most importantly to obtain my degree from one of the finest universities in the country," Golson said in a statement released to FOX Sports and others. "To all the Fighting Irish fans I want to thank you for your support over the past four years and let you know I truly love Notre Dame! To my former teammates, who I will miss tremendously, I wish much success in the future and will be your biggest fan from afar."