Former Notre Dame quarterback Gunner Kiel finally has a home.
The redshirt quarterback announced plans to leave Notre Dame shortly after the National Championship game, exiting the program before ever taking a snap or even suiting up for a game. Though there were rumors that he could end up in the SEC or Big 12, Gunner Kiel announced this week that he decided to join Cincinnati.
Kiel had also made visits to Ball State, Miami University in Ohio and was scheduled to visit Mississippi this upcoming weekend. He reportedly considered Kansas State and Mississippi State.
Gunner Kiel said in the end, the Bearcats were the best fit.
“Cincinnati was the best fit for me because the relationship I have with [quarterbacks] coach [Darin] Hinshaw is like nothing else. He is a great overall person and is someone I know I can get coached by,” Kiel said Wednesday. “The group of guys I’m going to be around is second to none. I love where they are heading and the future is bright.”
A blue chip recruit out of high school, Gunner Kiel drew interest from a number of schools. He initially committed to Indiana before switching to LSU, and then backing out late in the process and picking Notre Dame.
But the highly touted quarterback fell below sophomore starter Everett Golson on the depth chart and ultimately decided to transfer.
Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said he thought Gunner Kiel would have had a good chance to compete for the starting job next season, however.
“We had kind of created an opportunity for him to compete in the spring,” Kelly said. “So maybe a little surprised from that standpoint, because he was actually told he’d be given the opportunity to compete. Sometimes when you don’t hear that, you wouldn’t be surprised.”
Gunner Kiel is considered a major pickup for first-year Cincinnati coach Tommy Tuberville. Kiel grew up about 90 miles from Cincinnati.