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Davie Column

Sept. 14, 2000

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – With the departure of (Starting quarterback) Jarious Jackson, we had a sense of urgency to recruit a freshman quarterback. We were under the impression, the freshman quarterback would have to be the backup quarterback for this upcoming season.

Throughout the spring though, Gary Godsey proved he could be the backup quarterback. The sense of urgency was now gone. The decision to keep him at quarterback came from the way he handled himself during spring ball. It came from the belief he gave us the best opportunity to win if we ever found ourselves in the situation we are in now.

We realized we would have to be prepared if for some reason Arnaz were to go down with an injury. You have to plan for situations like that. You try not to think about that, but you do plan for it. Our plan was for Gary to take over if the unthinkable happened.

I really enjoy Gary as a person. I have been thoroughly impressed with him and his family since the day I stepped into their home in Tampa three years ago.

His whole family has been involved with football. His father played under Bear Bryant in the ’60s at Alabama. His oldest brother played at Air Force and his brother George is the starting quarterback at Georgia Tech.

There is tremendous support from his parents. He is the backup quarterback and his parents have been here for every game. In fact, they actually split time between going to his brother’s games and coming here. His brother was here the other week for the Texas A&M game.

Gary has had such a unique situation. Out of high school, we told him we were not going to recruit him as a quarterback. Then he moves to quarterback. Then this year, we bring in all the freshmen at quarterback.

I have seen him handle a lot of situations off the field in a very stable and mature way. I know that he will be the same way on the field.

The one concern I have is that any time you have a quarterback playing for the first time you just do not know what is going to happen for certain. What is so amazing is how fast his teammates backed him as the quarterback. They all have tremendous confidence in Gary, which has helped him throughout the week of practice.

I also have tremendous confidence in Gary based on what I have seen this week. He has not been rattled since earning the starting job and he has gone about his business on the football field.