For about the 100th time in the last 24 months, Gunner Kiel has made a decision on his college football future. The much-maligned, former super-recruit who ended up at Notre Dame this fall before announcing his transfer just a few months later, has announced that he will continue his career at Cincinnati.
The news was first reported by ESPN’s Joe Schad, who tweeted the following.
Former ND QB Gunner Kiel will enroll at Cincinnati
— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) April 10, 2013
This news is hardly news, since Cincinnati has been believed by many to be the favorite to land Kiel since he announced his transfer from Notre Dame last month. A number of different schools inquired with the former five-star, top-ranked quarterback, but in the end, distance to his Indiana home, a relationship with Cincinnati’s offensive staff, and the ability to compete for a starting job in 2014 were reasons that Schad cited as reasons he’ll enroll at Cincinnati.
Of course, after all the melo-drama surrounding Kiel over the last few years, would it be a surprise to anyone if he never takes a snap in a Bearcats uniform? The former prep All-American is best known as being one of the most indecisive big-time recruits in recent college football history, with more than one person in both the media and coaching circles questioning the kid’s mental toughness and ability to compete.
As a high school junior Kiel originally committed to Indiana, a school where his brother played, and a move that, at the time, was thought to be a major recruiting coup for Kevin Wilson and his staff. Of course long before Wilson could ever get Kiel’s signature on a Letter of Intent, he decommitted and elected to go to LSU.
Of course if that were the end of the Gunner melo-drama, it wouldn’t be all that big a deal. Unfortunately it was only the beginning.
That’s because on the day Kiel was set to enroll at LSU, well, he didn’t show up on campus…without warning, and without giving Les Miles or his staff a head’s up. Instead Kiel elected to stay closer to home and attend Notre Dame, again, without bothering to tell LSU’s coaching staff. Kiel’s indecisiveness of led Miles to famously wonder if Kiel had “the chest” to play for the Tigers.
The drama seemed to finally come to an end when Kiel ended up on Notre Dame’s campus, and as a back-up to Everett Golson. But with Golson firmly entrenched as the Irish starter for years to come, Kiel decided to once again pick up and leave campus. He announced his transfer in March and is now a Cincinnati Bearcat.
And it’s because of that indecisiveness that Kiel has drawn quite a bit of ire from the college football community as a whole, over the last few years. And whether you agree that it’s appropriate to trash on a college kid or not, most of what Kiel has brought on has been self-inflicted. Understand it’s one thing to be indecisive. It’s quite another to burn three college football programs in the process.
And because of it, it has also raised the question about Kiel’s work-ethic and will to compete. Talking in college football back-channels, more than one media member (whose opinion was formed by talking to more than one college football coach) seemed to wonder if this is a kid would prefer to have a starting job handed to him, rather than work for it.
Whether that’s fair or not, only a select few (namely the Kiel’s) really know. At the same time, it’s not out of line, especially on a day where Kiel committed to a program with such an uncertain future (who knows what the current Big East will look like by 2014?), with a famously indecisive coach of their own (Tommy Tuberville, ya’ll), where the only clear reason to attend the school is because of a clear path to playing time.
Either way, Gunner Kiel has again landed, this time at Cincinnati.
The only question from here might be how long he actually remains at the school.
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