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BCS National Championsip 2013: Brian Kelly says long layoff benefits Everett Golson

Brian Kelly believes that the 44 day wait for the Fighting Irish has benefited the progression of quarterback Everett Golson.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

TheNo. 1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish will play their first game in 44 days on Monday when they take on the Alabama Crimson Tide for the BCS National Championship game.

For many players and coaches, the long break can lead to boring routines and mind-numbing monotony as they wait for the big day. But for the younger players, the break can serve as an opportunity to mature and prepare. Fighting Irish head coach Brian Kelly believes that will be precisely the case with freshman quarterback Everett Golson. In speaking about Golson, courtesy of CSN Chicago, Kelly said the following:

"This long layoff is talked about relative to the process of your football team and preparing them, but I'll tell you there probably is only one player who has benefited as much with this time off and that's Everett Golson. He has gotten an opportunity for three and a half weeks to continue to grow. He's overcome adversity and he's put himself in a position now that everybody trusts that he'll lead this football team."

Golson has faced many questions as the Notre Dame starting quarterback this season and at times was even pulled from games in favor of backup Tommy Rees. However, as the season progress, Golson staked more and more claim to the position. When he led the Fighting Irish to a heroic comeback against Pittsburgh in early November, there was no more doubt as to who the top quarterback in South Bend was.

Golson passed for 2,135 yards and 11 touchdowns this season and also rushed for 305 yards and five touchdowns.