Sept. 10, 2000
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Waking up this morning could not have been easy for the Notre Dame football team after such a tough loss to Nebraska.
Things only worsened for the team as the day progressed as the coaching staff and players learned that quarterback Arnaz Battle is out indefinitely with a wrist injury.
Now the question for not only the coaching staff but also the team is, who will lead the Irish into battle against the 13th-ranked Boilermakers next week?
It is a scenario which even Irish head coach Bob Davie has a tough time tackling.
“We are going to have a short range plan because this kind of caught us by surprise,” Davie said. “As we evaluate, then hopefully we will be able to come up with a long range plan.”
The Irish have four options at quarterback. Sophomore Gary Godsey is listed as the backup. Davie could also choose between the likes of three freshmen, Jared Clark, Carlyle Holiday or Matt LoVecchio.
“I just don’t know write now specifically what course we will take. As we headed into the game on Saturday, Gary Godsey was our backup quarterback.”
Davie announced that his staff planned on meeting again on Sunday afternoon to discuss the course of action.
A team led by Godsey would be forced to take on a different dynamic. The 6-foot-7 quarterback is very different from the likes of Battle. His large stature does not offer as much mobility as Battle does.
Godsey posted solid numbers in the Blue-Gold scrimmage in the spring. He completed 12 of 23 passes for 148 yards.
Godsey played his high school football in Tampa where he threw for 1,800 yards and 22 touchdowns in his senior campaign at Jesuit. He earned USA Today honorable mention All-American pick.
Prior to the spring practice, many believed that Godsey would be moved from the quarterback position to the tight end slot. After a successful spring session, Davie opted to keep Godsey at the signal-caller position.
Davie never really committed to Godsey so it appears that the three freshmen still at the quarterback position have an opportunity. The coaching staff never discerned if there is a frontrunner in terms of the third-string spot. They believe that all three freshmen remain in a dead heat.
Freshman Carlyle Holiday offers the same athleticism as Battle. He entered as one of the highly touted freshman and Notre Dame’s biggest signees of last season. Holiday opted for the Irish over the Cornhuskers in a recruiting battle, which came down to the wire. In his senior season at Roosevelt High School, he finished with 48 completions for 719 yards.
Throughout the recruiting process, Davie told Clark, Holiday and LoVecchio of his intent to sign all three. He felt that the competition would be a healthy one between the three. The one thing Davie didn’t count on is the competition to start so early.
Regardless of whom Davie decides upon, one thing is certain that the quarterback stepping on the field on Saturday will be taking the first snaps of his collegiate career against the 13th-ranked team in the country which is a tough task for even the most experienced quarterback.