Notre Dame keeps adding to its impressive list of major recruits for next year. The latest stud to express interest in playing for the Fighting Irish is the highly touted Indiana quarterback Gunner Kiel.
Kiel’s stats speak for themselves. A recipient of the highly coveted titles of Mr. Indiana Football and Gatorade Indiana player of the year, Kiel amassed over 7,175 yards over the course of his high school career. His senior year saw the Notre Dame recruit pass for over 2,517 yards and 28 touchdowns along with rushing for 428 yards and 11 TDs.
Kiel first committed to Indiana before bowing out to accept an offer from LSU. Having third thoughts in this case, Kiel reached out to Brian Kelly in reassessing his desire to settle on Notre Dame this week. He reached out to Fighting Irish coach Brian Kelly, who promptly visited him at his home on Tuesday.
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Kelly’s relationship with the player was instrumental to his decision. "Coach [Brian] 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."
Notre Dame, Kiel feels, offers him what other universities could not. "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.
Kiel’s family has a history with Kelly and Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish play-caller recruited his brothers at different stops on his way to coaching at Notre Dame. Under his tutelage, Kelly recruited his brother Drew to Central Michigan and his other sibling Dusty, to Cinncinatti. Blair Kiel, Gunner’s uncle, started at quarterback for Notre Dame from 1980-1983.He is the team’s sixth-leading passer of all-time and holds the record for the team’s longest pass play (96 yards).
The number two ranked quarterback prospect according to ESPNU will face some stiff competition for the starting position next season from last year’s starter Tommy Rees, Andrew Hendrix, and Everett Golson.