Some things are better late than never, and now it is official.
In one of the stragest recruiting sagas in recent memory, Brian Kelly received his 17th verbal commitment today from QB Gunner Kiel (Columbus, IN - Columbus East). Kiel is one of the most highly touted recruits in the 2012 class and is basically the consensus #1 QB out there (with the exception of the boys over at tWWL).
As many of you already know, Kiel is the nephew of former Notre Dame QB Blair Kiel. He measures 6'3" and somewhere between 200 and 220 lbs (lots of variations on the sites). He also has a reported 4.65 sec 40 yard dash time.
Kiel chose the Irish over after de-committing from Indiana in October, choosing LSU in December and de-committing over the weekend. He will enroll in January and participate in spring practice. He played in the US Army All-American bowl and took part in the Elite 11 QB camp over the summer.
2009: Passing 68%, 2200 yards, 25 TDs; Rushing 400 yards, 5 TDs.
2010: Passing 67%, 2645 yards, 36 TDs, 6 INT; Rushing 238 yards, 7 TDs.
2011: Passing 53%, 2517 yards, 28 TDs, 4 INT; Rushing 109 carries, 482 yards, 12 TDs
Recruiting Service Rankings:
ESPN - 4 Star (#2 QB, #1 in IN), #20 Overall (Grade 83) - ESPNU Top 150
Rivals - 5 Star (#1 QB, #1 in IN), #18 Overall (Grade 6.1) - Rivals 100
Scout - 5 Star (#1 QB, #1 in IN), #38 Overall
247Sports - 5 Star (#1 Pro QB, #1 IN), #24 Overall (Grade 98) - Top 247
MaxPreps - 5 Star (#1 QB, #1 IN), #2 Overall
Highlights after the jump.
Now what you all have been waiting for, some highlight clips:
'12 IN QB Gunner Kiel (via RedshirtScouting)
Kiel will enter a crowded depth chart at QB, presumably behind 2011 starter Tommy Rees and the Goldrix chimera generated in the laboratory during the offseason.
As an early enrollee, he has the benefit of spring practice to become immersed in the offense and learn the playbook. He has an outside chance of competing for the job as a freshman, but not likely to win the starting job for the season opener vs. Navy in Dublin.
Kiel likely sits a year and retains the eligibility unless he is just too impressive in camp to keep on the sidelines.
I think Kiel is about as good a fit for Brian Kelly's offense as anyone out there. While not necessarily a dual-threat QB, he has the arm strength to stretch the field vertically as well as horizontally and is athletic enough to keep a defense honest as a running threat.
Don't expect him to run a lot of zone-read option plays, but the threat is there and will have to be accounted for. When comparisons come to mind, I think he reminds me a bit of Brady Quinn (but with better touch/accuracy) and should end up being a two or three year starter in South Bend.
Welcome to Notre Dame Gunner!