Irish QB Gunner Kiel has decided to transfer from Notre Dame, the latest change for a player who twice broke commitments as a top-flight high school recruit.
Kiel didn’t see the playing field this season as he was redshirted during Notre Dame’s unlikely run to the BCS National Championship game. It appeared that he had little hope of climbing the depth chart, possibly contributing to the Irish QB’s decision to transfer. Redshirt Everett Golson was named the team’s starter last fall, but junior Tommy Rees saw plenty of playing time himself.
When he took the practice field in the summer, Kiel would have also been behind redshirt sophomore Andrew Hendrix, and Notre Dame brought in early enrollee Malik Zaire at the QB position as well.
Still, Kiel gave no hint of wanting to transfer when he talked to reporters before the BCS Championship game.
“It honestly hasn’t,” he said during media day at Sun Life Stadium when asked if the thought of transferring had crossed his mind. “I’ve been more focused on the season and been more focused on school and other things that are more important to me.”
“Anything could happen,” Kiel added. “[Golson] could go to the NFL — you never know. He could also get hurt, other people could get hurt — there’s so many doors that could be opened that I just have to be patient, just wait my turn, wait to get better.”
Kiel said he was willing to put in his bid for the starting quarterback position, but admitted that Golson is “a great quarterback.”
As a blue chip high school recruit out of Indiana — he was the ranked No. 1 among quarterbacks in the class of 2012 by Rivals.com — Gunner Kiel had a difficult time selecting a college. He initially made a commitment to Indiana, but changed his mind and verbally committed to LSU.
But he broke that commitment as well, ending up at Notre Dame.
“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 in a news release.
Kiel was called out by LSU coach Les Miles for the decommitment.
“There was a gentleman from Indiana that thought about coming to the Bayou state,” Miles said. “He did not necessarily have the chest and the ability to lead a program, so you know.”
Kiel admitted that he “was dumb during the recruiting process,” and felt like he had too much pressure to make up his mind.
Notre Dame followers said the decision the Irish QB made to transfer was not surprising, especially given his shaky place on the depth chart. There is no word on what school Gunner Kiel plans to attend next.