SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) Quarterback Everett Golson said he felt like a ”long-lost brother coming home” as he returned to Notre Dame on Thursday to take part in pro day a year after leaving to play his final season at Florida State.
”It’s not like I’m some brand new guy,” he said. ”I talked to them as if I was at workouts yesterday.”
Golson, who led the Irish to the national championship appearance as a redshirt freshman, started for the Seminoles last season, winning the first six games. But he threw a costly interception in a loss to Georgia Tech, missed the Syracuse game with a concussion, didn’t start against Clemson and then committed three turnovers in a little more than a quarter of play against North Carolina State.
Golson also struggled with turnovers while at Notre Dame, and while working out before pro scouts on Thursday had a ball slip out of his hand as he attempted a pass. He also had one pass hit the netting in the ceiling.
Golson said one reason he wanted to do his pro day at Notre Dame was that he had more receivers to throw to, with Will Fuller, Chris Brown, Amir Carlisle and C.J. Prosise also taking part. He also said he wanted to be at Notre Dame, his alma mater, where he earned a degree in management-entrepreneurship.
Golson said he doesn’t regret his decision to leave Notre Dame.
”You live with the decisions you make. The decision at that time was to leave,” he said. ”I don’t look back at the past. It’s kind of just moving forward at this point.”
Brown said it was good to see Golson back, saying they’ve been working out twice a week for two weeks.
”We had some good sessions. Chemistry doesn’t go away,” he said.
Linebacker Jaylon Smith, who tore two ligaments in his left knee against Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl, only took part in the bench press during the workouts. He spoke only briefly afterward with the media, saying he feels good.
”It’s just a thing where you just take it one day at a time, but I’m doing great,” Smith said, saying he’s talked with NFL personnel. ”It’s just a matter of getting healthy. They just want to see progress. It’s something I’m going to show.”
Smith was mentioned as a likely first-round draft pick before the injury. Offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley and Fuller also have been mentioned as potential first-round picks from Notre Dame.
Another player working out Thursday was defensive end Ishaq Williams, who missed the last two seasons. Williams was dismissed from Notre Dame in the fall of 2014 after being investigated for possible academic dishonesty. He had hoped to return to play for the Irish last fall, but the NCAA did not clear him to play.
Williams described his attempt to get back into football a ”great journey.”
”I’ve learned so much about myself. I’ve developed as a person,” he said. ”It’s just great to be back out here with the opportunity to chase my dream.”