Apr 11, 2013, 6:59 AM EST
A day after Davonte Neal decided to head home to the University of Arizona, quarterback Gunner Kiel has decided to transfer to Cincinnati. ESPN’s Joe Schad reports that Kiel selected Brian Kelly’s former program after considering Ball State, Miami (Ohio), Kansas State and Mississippi.
Schad spoke to Kiel, who provided his rationale: “Cincinnati was the best fit for me because the relationship I have with [quarterbacks] Coach Hinshaw is like nothing else,” Kiel told Schad. “He is a great overall person and is someone I know I can get coached by. “The group of guys I’m going to be around is second to none. I love where they are heading and the future is bright.”
For those curious, Darin Hinshaw is a recent hire to the Bearcats staff, joining new coach Tommy Tuberville for the first time. Hinshaw was at Tennessee the past three seasons before Butch Jones took over for Derek Dooley, first spending time coaching both quarterbacks and wide receivers. He accepted the role of passing game coordinator at Cincinnati. The Bearcats offensive coordinator is Eddie Gran, a long time Tuberville lieutenant at Auburn, who is coordinating an offense for the first time in his 20+ years of coaching, after serving as a running backs and special teams coach the past decade at Auburn and Florida State.
The move to Cincinnati ends an interesting few weeks of hypothesizing about Kiel’s decision. In Cincinnati, he finds a program clearly a step above the MAC level, though not necessarily for long, with the implosion of the Big East. Still, with Tuberville at the helm and one of the conference’s most successful programs of late, Kiel has the opportunity to play at a high profile school, even if their lot in life is still to be determined.
Kiel also has the benefit of an opportunistic depth chart. With two senior quarterbacks on the Bearcats’ roster, Kiel will sit out and then step into a wide open race for playing time, in an offensive system that on paper seems to match the 6-foot-4 quarterback’s skillset.
To that point, the jury is still out on what exactly Cincinnati is getting. A five-star recruit who was among the top prospects in his signing class according to various recruiting services, opinions still vary on Kiel’s potential, with some coaches questioning his ability to reporters. Still, Kiel impressed the Irish coaching staff during his redshirt season, and had crafted out an opportunity for Kiel to compete with returning starter Everett Golson and No. 2 Tommy Rees, before he decided to depart. (It bears mentioning that the last time Cincinnati accepted the transfer of a Notre Dame quarterback, it didn’t work out too well for the Bearcats with Demetrius Jones.
A source on Cincinnati’s coaching staff confirmed Kiel’s decision to a reporter at the Cincinnati Enquirer.
“He called us and said he’s coming. He wants to get it started as soon as possible,” the source told the paper.
Dec 21, 2014, 4:35 PM EST
After a mailbag goes missing, the Inside the Irish crew go looking for answers. That and other solutions in this week’s mailbag.
Dec 20, 2014, 4:50 PM EST
Brian Kelly met with the local media on Saturday afternoon, delivering good news on the status of two key veteran defenders. Both defensive tackle Sheldon Day and cornerback Cody Riggs are on track to start against LSU, adding a few key pieces back into the puzzle.
Dec 19, 2014, 11:59 AM EST
Notre Dame solidified its safety depth chart by going for a homegrown solution. The Irish offered Indianapolis Warren Central safety Mykelti Williams yesterday, and today the four-star prospect made the decision official by committing to Notre Dame.
Dec 19, 2014, 11:27 AM EST
Notre Dame’s inclusion in the ACC’s bowl selections came in handy this year. As the Irish back-slid throughout November, they still held onto some preferred real estate, finding themselves in a pretty nice consolation game, with the opportunity to play in Nashville in the Music City Bowl.
Carter Bryant gets us ready for LSU.
Dec 18, 2014, 2:38 PM EST
Sophomores Jaylon Smith and Will Fuller have earned more kudos than just their defensive and offensive player of the year Echoes. Both have received mention for year-end All-American awards.
Dec 18, 2014, 1:17 PM EST
While most eyes are focused on the battle at quarterback between Everett Golson and Malik Zaire, the preparations for LSU will also be critical along the offensive line. The extra practices will give Brian Kelly and Harry Hiestand time to evaluate their starting five, with changes that could have both short and long-term impacts.
Dec 17, 2014, 4:24 PM EST
Any new questions? Ones that I’ve avoided? Last minute Christmas ideas? Drop them in the comments below or on Twitter @KeithArnold.
Dec 17, 2014, 12:29 PM EST
Monday UND.com premiered the short film “Blind Faith.” Directed by Notre Dame graduate Greg Kohs, the documentary follows a blind eighth grade boy making his first visit to Notre Dame Stadium.
Dec 16, 2014, 11:40 AM EST
Brian Kelly will play two quarterbacks against LSU, with both senior Everett Golson and sophomore Malik Zaire getting an opportunity to take on the LSU in the Music City Bowl. After a regular season where Golson served as the starter all 12 games with Zaire only seeing significant action against USC in the finale, both will be utilized in the Irish’s offensive game plan.
Dec 15, 2014, 4:52 PM EST
Notre Dame junior offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley walked off the stage Friday night with the team’s Lineman of the Year Award. He’s still uncertain if it’s the last time he’ll take part in the season-ending festivities.
Dec 15, 2014, 3:37 PM EST
This August, a group of people who spend way too much time watching and writing about Notre Dame football got together to put together some preseason rankings on the roster. In doing so, we (I’m definitely included) put in writing what so many of you (especially in the comments) already thought was true: We don’t know what we’re talking about sometimes.
Dec 13, 2014, 12:11 PM EST
Middle linebacker Joe Schmidt was named the 2014 team’s MVP on Saturday night, honored by his teammates with the top award at Notre Dame’s year-end awards show. Hosted by NBC’s Mike Mayock and WNBA star Skylar Diggins, “The Echoes” withstood a building-clearing plumbing issue to hand out 16 awards.
Dec 12, 2014, 10:40 AM EST
Notre Dame’s regular season may be over. The Irish’s recruiting class — one many thought would cap itself around 20 — is already at 21 commits. Get ready for a busy weekend on campus.
Dec 10, 2014, 9:49 PM EST
Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick finds himself in the news on another roller coaster day in college athletics. And while it isn’t about a coaching change (another job opening under Barry Alvarez!) or another critique of the College Football Playoff, Swarbrick found himself speaking openly — and rather candidly — about compensating student-athletes, and the perilous position college athletic departments now find themselves in.
Dec 10, 2014, 12:59 PM EST
Drop your questions below. Or on Twitter @KeithArnold.
Dec 9, 2014, 12:24 PM EST
Notre Dame’s season may have gone down the tube in November, but left tackle Ronnie Stanley’s stock has been sky-rocketing. The third-year junior (Stanley is a sophomore eligibility wise) is finishing up his first season as a left tackle and beginning to garner plenty of looks as a potential first-round draft pick.
Dec 8, 2014, 3:51 PM EST
Throughout spring practice, summer workouts and fall camp, Brian Kelly did everything he could to make us believe a quarterback battle was taking place between Everett Golson and Malik Zaire.
Twelve games and 22 turnovers later, the Irish finally have one.
Dec 8, 2014, 12:27 AM EST
Notre Dame got what it wanted. And if you thought Brian Kelly was looking for an easy matchup to become the first Irish head coach to win eight games or more in each of his first five seasons, think again.
Dec 7, 2014, 7:01 PM EST
Notre Dame will be spending the holidays in Nashville. Sunday afternoon the Irish accepted their first ever bid to the Music City Bowl, where they’ll take on LSU. Les Miles’ football team finished the season 8-4.
Dec 5, 2014, 5:16 PM EST
Recruiting rankings, quarterback controversy, coaching changes and more.
We’ll find out over the weekend where Notre Dame will go bowling. Until then, let’s dig into the mailbag.