As Les Miles might say, Gunner Kiel apparently doesn’t have the chesticular fortitude for Notre Dame, either.
In a move that’s been speculated on for months, IrishSportsDaily.com is reporting that the quarterback intends to take his leave of the Irish and transfer to a to-be-determined football program. No reason was given for Kiel’s apparent departure, although “odds of supplanting the starter who led the Irish to a near-perfect season” or “crowded and talented depth chart” would likely be at or near the top of the list.
Attempts at clarifying Kiel’s status for now and into the future have thus far gone unanswered.
In the run-up to the BCS title game matchup with Alabama, Kiel attempted to downplay the rumors swirling around his future in South Bend.
“It honestly hasn’t,” Kiel said 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.”
If the transfer speculation comes to fruition, it would be the latest twist to what’s been a roller-coaster ride for Kiel the past year and a half.
The No. 1 quarterback in the Class of 2012, Kiel committed to Indiana in July of 2011 before decommitting three months later. In late December of that year, Kiel committed to LSU… only to get cold feet two weeks before National Signing Day, reportedly in large part to pleas from mom to stay closer to their Indiana home.
On Jan. 17, Notre Dame announced that Kiel was a member of its Class of 2012 as an early enrollee.
Kiel, the nephew of former Irish QB Blair Kiel, participated in spring practice but was unable to beat out Everett Golson for the starting job. Kiel was the scout-team QB in 2012 while Golson led the Irish to a perfect 12-0 mark in the regular season and a spot in the BCS championship game.
Along with Golson, 2011 starter/2012 closer Tommy Rees, Andrew Hendrix and Malik Zaire will be a part of the quarterback competition beginning in the spring. Hendrix was a four-star member of Rees’ class, while Zaire, also a Rivals.com four-star player rated as the No. 3 dual-threat quarterback in the country, is an early enrollee as part of this year’s Irish recruiting class who will participate in the spring sessions that begin March 20.