Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Kiel ends saga, adds new dimension to ND
By Matt Fortuna
A blue-chip prospect was set and ready to join the preseason 2012 favorite.
A Notre Dame recruiting class needed some juice after losing two commits in the past week.
Less than 24 hours later ... Wow.
Gunner Kiel, the nephew of former Irish quarterback Blair Kiel, is Irish-bound, the school announced Tuesday, the first day of the spring semester. And what a first day it is.
Notre Dame landed ESPNU's No. 2 quarterback and No. 20 overall prospect, and it might just have its quarterback of the future.
The roller-coaster recruitment that initially had Kiel bound for Bloomington, and then for Baton Rouge, ends with the four-star prospect enrolling in South Bend, about a four-hour drive from his hometown of Columbus, Ind.
He will have all of the spring and preseason practices to play catch-up to the duo of Tommy Rees and Andrew Hendrix while battling Everett Golson as well.
And there's more.
Cornerback Tee Shepard (Fresno, Calif./Washington Union), defensive lineman Sheldon Day (Indianapolis, Ind./Warren Central) and running back Amir Carlisle all enrolled early, too.
The former two are four-star prospects, while Carlisle comes over from rival USC.
Shepard, in particular, should allow fans to relax a little after a recruitment that kept everyone on edge.
The trio won't overshadow the addition of Kiel, who is now one of four quarterbacks battling for one spot. And while Irish fans might discover the true genius of Brian Kelly through this quarterback battle the next couple of years, he has already flexed his muscle with another late-season recruiting coup.