STAR QUAL­ITY

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Emerald Isle Classic -

EVERETT GOL­SON Quar­ter-back, Notre Dame

Only re­cently con­firmed as Notre Dame’s start­ing quar­ter-back for the sea­son, Everett gets in ahead of ris­ing star An­drew Hen­drix. Coach Brian Kelly took the whole sum­mer to make his de­ci­sion and an­nounced it just at the end of last week. “It was a tough de­ci­sion but Everett clearly won the start­ing job and he'll be the starter ver­sus Navy,” said Kelly.

Gol­son has been a com­ing man for a cou­ple of sea­sons. He won a state cham­pi­onship with the Mertyle Beach Sea­hawks in 2010 and was cho­sen as the co-player of the year in South Carolina as a re­sult. When last year’s quar­ter-back Tommy Rees was ruled out of the Navy game Gol­son’s chance to shine was laid out on a plate for him.

MANTI TE’O Line­backer, Notre Dame

Line­backer who is well on his way to be­com­ing one of the most leg­endary play­ers in the his­tory of Notre Dame football, Te’o is head­ing into his se­nior year at South Bend.

Orig­i­nally from Hawaii, he was re­cruited as USA To­day’s num­ber one de­fen­sive player in Amer­ica in 2008 and has since then gone on to ful­fil his prom­ise with each year in the Notre Dame pro­gram.

There was high ex­pec­ta­tion that he was about to turn pro­fes­sional af­ter last sea­son and few were in any doubt that he would have been cho­sen high up in the draft – cer­tainly in the sec­ond round – but very pos­si­bly in the first.

As things stand, an in­jury-free sea­son this time around is sure to see him play­ing in the NFL this time next year.

TYLER EIFERT Tight End, Notre Dame

One of the top-notch stars on show at the Aviva, Tyler Eifert is a dom­i­nant tight end who is key to the Notre Dame of­fence. The 21-year-old is a huge fan favourite be­cause on top of be­ing highly-skilled, he also passes for be­ing a lo­cal boy of sorts hav­ing grown up just 90 miles away from the col­lege.

He was the team’s best re­ceiver last sea­son with 63 catches, 803 yards and five touch­downs, with the catches and yards to­tals the high­est of any tight-end in Amer­ica. His record at Notre Dame stands up to any tight end who has passed through the col­lege. He was named a first-team All-Amer­i­can last year as well as mak­ing the short­list for the cov­eted John Mackey Award for best tight-end in col­lege football.

TREY MILLER Quar­ter-back, Navy

In a Navy of­fence that has looked a lit­tle pre­dictable over the past few sea­sons, Miller has come to rep­re­sent a more ex­pan­sive op­tion. Hav­ing started just one game last year – against Notre Dame, as it hap­pens – Miller is the nailed-on start­ing quar­ter-back this term for the Mid­ship­men and his abil­ity through the air is some­thing Navy haven’t been known for in quite a while. Usu­ally they are con­tent to have a quar­ter-back who hands off the ball to a run­ning back or who uses short, snappy passes to move up the field. Miller’s oc­ca­sional ten­dency to air it out could give them an­other as­pect to their play that has been lack­ing.

A grad­u­ate of Whitefield Academy in Ge­or­gia, Miller is in his third year at An­napo­lis.

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