Friday, October 21, 2011
Gunner Kiel re-opens recruitment
By Brian Bennett
Here's some potentially rough news for Indiana in a season full of bad tidings.
Top quarterback recruit Gunner Kiel, who stunned a lot of people by committing to his home-state Hoosiers in July, is wavering on his commitment and plans to visit other schools, according to reports.
Kiel told Peegs.com that he informed IU head coach Kevin Wilson of that decision on Thursday night. He plans on making an unofficial visit to Notre Dame this weekend to see the Irish play USC in the school's first night game on campus in 20 years.
Kiel, whose older brother Dusty has started two games for the Hoosiers at quarterback this year, was also being pursued by Alabama, Oklahoma and many others before his commitment. This news is not terribly surprising, since top prospects often change their mind or at least check out other options after they make an early commitment. And with Indiana's 1-6 start, it's not hard to understand why Kiel is rethinking things.
Wilson and the Hoosiers will have to re-recruit him now and hope they can hang on to him. The family ties to the program and the proximity to Kiel's hometown -- he's from nearby Columbus, Ind. -- help them in that regard. But now that there appears to be blood in the water, other schools will surely come after the quarterback with a full-on sales pitch. The atmosphere Kiel will see this weekend in South Bend should be special, and even though it's only an unofficial visit, that thought must be sickening to IU fans.
As I wrote Thursday, Kiel is the highest-rated prospect in the Class of 2012 who has committed to a Big Ten school, according to ESPN.com. He looked like he could have been a program-changing type of recruit for Indiana. The Hoosiers must now hope that is still the case and that more bad news isn't coming.