The Notre Dame quarterback situation just got a whole lot more wide open for the spring, potentially. DeShone Kizer will pass on his final year of eligibility in South Bend and declare for the NFL Draft. Kizer shared the news on his Twitter account Monday afternoon.
“I have an opportunity to continue my football career in the NFL. My family and I have taken the last couple weeks to collect all the necessary information to make a decision that will impact our future,” Kizer said. “After discussing with my family and coaches, and weighing the pros and cons of remaining at Notre Dame, I believe it’s time to change my path.”
Kizer stepped in to lead the Irish offense early in the 2015 season and played very well as a sophomore. Kizer completed 62.9 percent of his pass attempts for 2,880 yards and 21 touchdowns to 1 interceptions in his first run as Notre Dame’s starting quarterback. His ability to take off and run gave opposing defenses something else to worry about as well. The 2016 season, as for the entire Notre Dame program, did not go exactly according to plan, but Kizer actually improved his touchdown to interception ratio (26 touchdowns, nine interceptions) in a losing season in South Bend. Kizer also rushed for 472 yards and eight touchdowns this season.
Notre Dame was already set to lose one quarterback with the unconditional release from scholarship given to Malik Zaire. Now, with Kizer heading to the NFL, Notre Dame’s most likely starting quarterback in 2017 may be Brandon Wimbush. Wimbush was a four-star dual-threat quarterback out of high school in the Class of 2015. Having been unable to wiggle his way into the starting competition that was stacked with Kizer and Zaire, the door is now wide open for Wimbush to ascend to the top of the depth chart. Nothing will be guaranteed, however, and he will still have to prove the wait was worth it starting in the spring.