Following up on reports from a couple of different fronts, Notre Dame announced Tuesday the additions of four players to its football roster.
Two of the four? The top-rated quarterback in the Class of 2012 and one of the top all-purpose running backs from the Class of 2011.
In a press release, the Irish confirmed that QB Gunner Kiel is one of three recruits who signed their scholarship forms and enrolled early at the school. Kiel, of course had been committed to LSU up until yesterday, when he was expected to become one of the Tigers’ early enrollees.
Instead, and reportedly thanks to an emotional plea from his mother, the Columbus, Ind., product will be a member of the Fighting Irish.
“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 statement released by the school. “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.
“Coach 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. I couldn’t be happier to be a member of the Fighting Irish football team. I’m excited about the future of the program.”
In addition to being Rivals‘ top-ranked pro-style QB, the recruiting service also rates the 6-4, 220-pound Kiel as the No. 19 prospect at any position in the country.
As previously mentioned, Kiel isn’t the only highly-touted prospect who’s found his way to South Bend. A little over a week ago, it was reported that RB Amir Carlisle would be transferring from USC to Notre Dame. On the first day of ND’s spring semester, that move was confirmed as well.
“I’m really excited to be here at Notre Dame,” Carlisle said. “I had great respect for the school and football program when I went through the recruiting process a year ago and I’m proud to be enrolled here. I know this will be a great fit for me and I can’t wait to get started.”
As a four-star member of USC’s 2011 recruiting class, Carlisle was the No. 4 all-purpose running back in the nation and the No. 9 overall player in the state of California according to Rivals.com. As a true freshman, Carlisle averaged over six yards on his 19 carries as well as catching seven passes, one going for a touchdown. he was also hampered by knee and ankle issues.
The two other early enrollees for the Irish were defensive lineman Sheldon Day (Indianapolis, Ind./Warren Central) and defensive back Tee Shepard (Fresno, Calif./Washington Union).