After the shocking news that Everett Golson was no longer enrolled at Notre Dame, many began to wonder whether the Fighting Irish might be able to rely on the second coming of Gunner Kiel in the hopes of restoring national title ambitions.
Not so fast.
Gunner Kiel, the heralded freshman who transferred from Notre Dame this offseason to avoid the prospect of sitting behind Golson for the next four years, made it clear Sunday that he would not be returning to South Bend.
“I’m a Bearcat,” Kiel said plainly via text message to USA Today. The young quarterback was committed to Indiana before switching to LSU then ultimately signing with Notre Dame. Now, he is a member of the Cincinnati Bearcats under new head coach Tommy Tuberville.
The idea that Kiel would rather sit out a full season to play for Cincinnati as opposed to returning to the Irish as the frontrunner to be the starting quarterback on opening day may be insulting to one of college football’s most recognizable institutions.
Nevertheless some argue that new likely starter, senior Tommy Rees, may actually be an upgrade over the less efficient Golson. Rees will certainly be the favorite to win the job where he thrived at critical moments last season. His top competition will likely come from true freshman Malik Zaire who was the #3 dual-threat quarterback out of high school last season.