Apr. 21, 2012; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Gunner Kiel (5) in the fourth quarter of the spring game at Notre Dame Stadium. Kiel wore the number five jersey in honor of his uncle and former quarterback Blair Kiel who died on April 8, 2012. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Notre Dame Football: Gunner Kiel Will Transfer


Irish Sports Daily broke news that Gunner Kiel will transfer from Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish quarterback redshirted in 2012, following an unusual recruitment.

Wherever the top rated quarterback in the recruiting class of 2012 lands will be the fourth university with which he’s associated. Gunner Kiel originally committed with the Indiana Hoosiers to join his brother Dusty, but changed his verbal pledge to Les Miles’ LSU Tigers.

Rumors Kiel was considering a transfer from Notre Dame picked up steam around the BCS championship game. Redshirt freshman quarterback Everett Golson’s place in Brian Kelly’s spread offense cast some doubt over Kiel’s role. The highly sought-after recruit is a prototypical pocket passer.

And while Kelly had success using both dual-threat Zach Collaros and more traditional quarterback Tony Pike in Cincinnati’s 2009 Sugar Bowl run, a similar situation at Notre Dame seemed unlikely.

Moreover, Kiel was entering a crowded competition with Fighting Irish spring football starting on March 20. Behind Golson are 2011 starter Tommy Rees and Drew Hendrix. Rees saw significant playing time in reserve of Golson last season, while Hendrix plays a style akin to the Notre Dame starter. Kelly is also bringing on athletic recruit Malik Zaire, an early enrollee from the 2013 signing class.

Slap The Sign spelled out the significance of a strong off-season for Kiel earlier this week. Though any suggestion why Kiel is transferring is currently left to conjecture, he was certainly facing a pressure-packed proposition.

Programs in need of a quarterback could do worse than Kiel, though his next destination remains to be seen. Further, he must sit out the 2013 season if he transfers to a Bowl Subdivision university. He would be eligible immediately if going the FCS route, which older brother Drew explored at Illinois State.

One destination that can likely be scratched off the list is LSU.

Gunner Kiel landed at Notre Dame on the first day of spring semester classes a year ago, much to the chagrin of Tiger faithful — and Miles. The LSU head coach questioned Kiel’s “swagger” at a rally shortly thereafter.

Coincidentally, Gunner’s aforementioned brother Dusty transferred from Indiana following the 2011 season.

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Tags: Indiana Hoosiers Louisiana State Tigers Notre Dame Fighting Irish

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