In another strange twist in the Gunner Kiel saga, Notre Dame football announced that the freshman quarterback is set to transfer from the school. Somewhere in Baton Rouge, Les Miles is smiling.
You might recall Kiel’s commit-decommit happy recruitment phase, where he initially committed to play for IU, then switched to LSU, before finally enrolling early at Notre Dame. This incurred the wrath of LSU’s Miles, who passive-agrresively attacked the quarterback in an offseason press conference last year.
Its likely that Kiel felt his opportunity to play was dwindling with the emergence of current starting QB Everett Golson, who will just be in his second year at the helm next season. It’s also likely that the recruitment and signing of top 10 QB Malik Zaire this year factored into the decision as well.
While its understandable that Kiel wants to be somewhere he feel he can get decent playing time, his actions will hurt his options at going to a top tier school. First off, unless he gets a waiver from the NCAA, he’s going to have to sit out a year regardless of where he goes.
Secondly, it doesn’t seem like Kiel feels the need to have to earn playing time. Yes, he was the highest rated quarteback recruit 2 years ago. But that means nothing in the real world. If he had wanted to be a freshman starter, he should have stayed at IU, or committed to a MAC or Sun Belt team. It speaks volumes for his work ethic and apparent sense of entitlement. Big time coaches have little patience for prima donna players. This isn’t the NFL where the players hold all the cards. In college football, the head coach reigns supreme, and Kiel’s constant flip-flopping doesn’t send a good message to those guys.
Lastly, and probably most importantly, is the trust issue. How can a coach, let alone teammates, begin to trust a kid who has given his word to three schools in the span of a year, only to back out each time? Trust is an integral and often underplayed aspect of football. Without trust in each other, there can be no success. And Kiel has shown right now, he’s just not trustworthy.
To be clear, I don’t think Kiel will wind up at a Ball State or Florida Atlantic, or even a Ju-Co. He will likely land on the roster of a power conference school, but even then, he’s going to have to learn that to play, he needs to earn the right.
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