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.