Apr. 21, 2012; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Gunner Kiel (5) in the fourth quarter of the spring game at Notre Dame Stadium. Kiel wore the number five jersey in honor of his uncle and former quarterback Blair Kiel who died on April 8, 2012. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
Gunner Kiel will be the most famous Notre Dame Quarterback never to take a regular season snap in Blue-Gold. His story has been repeated over and over again. Kiel committed to Indiana and then LSU before enrolling at Notre Dame at the last minute. This spring, he decided to transfer to Cincinnati. Keil has not spoken since making the change.
In an interview with Tom Groeschen of Cincinnati.com, Kiel opened about the who, what, where and why. Kiel told Groeschen, in reference to changing his mind several times, “People give me a hard time about it, but I just tell people I’m doing with what’s best for me. I committed to so many places but I did it all in the right way.”
Of course, if Gunner Kiel was still at Notre Dame, this statement would sound better. However, it is hard to see how Kiel did it in the “right way.” Kiel comes off as aloof, arrogant and selfish in his comments. It is hard to see how Kiel will ever be a team-player if he is always thinking about himself.
A more interesting comment came when Kiel discussed the Irish coaching staff. Kiel said, “It was good. I respect coach Kelly a lot and what he does. He’s a fiery coach and he did me well. My quarterbacks coach (Chuck Martin) and I really didn’t have the relationship I wanted, and that was one reason I didn’t like it. I tried to put in the work.”
This is an interesting and reveling quote. Kiel should be taken at his word. Is Martin not the best at cultivating relationships? Maybe. Is Kiel looking for a scapegoat? Maybe. Martin could have spent more time with the actual Quarterback and backup Quarterback. Kiel was the scout team Quarterback. It is understandable why he may have not developed the relationship with him.
Finally, Kiel told the reporter, “I just didn’t want to run the scout team anymore.” Everyone knows that he would have had the opportunity to be the 2nd team Quarterback this year. But, he did not believe in himself enough to do it. Maybe Les Miles is right. He just does not have the chest to play Quarterback at the college level. He will next year when it is handed to him at Cincinnati.