Gunner Kiel, the Columbus, Indiana native rated as the #1 quarterback and #18 overall recruit in the class of 2012 has finally found his place in college football. He originally committed to the Indiana Hoosiers and new coach Kevin Wilson (where his older brother Dusty Kiel is currently part of the QB rotation). Then he changed his mind and de-committed, later giving an oral commitment to LSU on December 27th.
The 2011 Indiana Mr. Football passed for 2,517 yards and 28 TDs as a senior and rushed for 482 yards and 11 TDs. He helped lead Columbus East High School to the Indiana state 4A semifinals as a senior and was named the Gatorade Indiana Player of the Year. Kiel passed for 7,175 yards in his high school career.
“This recruitment process was a roller-coaster ride at times, but I know I have made the right decision for my family and me,” Kiel said. “There were three critical elements I was looking for in my future school: the quality of education I would receive, the distance from home and the comfort level I would have with the players and coaches in the football program. Notre Dame was the perfect fit for me because it hit all three areas.
“Coach Kelly was great throughout my recruitment, as many times our conversations had nothing do with football. That really showed me he had my best intentions in mind. He was persistent yet also patient while recruiting me and I look forward to playing for him the next four years. I couldn’t be happier to be a member of the Fighting Irish football team. I’m excited about the future of the program.”
The de-committing not once, but twice is kind of a red flag. Especially for such a high-profile recruit like Kiel. Because you know he’s had exalted status everywhere he’s been in life, and might be getting a big head because of it. Most super-recruits do. Changing commitments happens all the time, but twice is rare. As is de-committing from two schools. It’s kind of like the beginning of a college football version of the Alex Legion college basketball story. Legion de-confirmed his commitment to the Kentucky Wildcats and the Michigan Wolverines- twice. Then he transferred to the Illinois Fighting Illini where he accomplished very little.
The consensus top 50 recruit then went to Florida international, where he was kicked out of school. Legion had a reputation as a head case, and is the quintessential flame-out story. Kiel has a long way to go to live up to those comparisons, but he’s not off to the best start.
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports
A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too