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.
Feb 28, 2015, 2:48 PM EST
Well crew, I’ve gotta say… I’m a little underwhelmed by the mailbag question. And in the 150+ comments of people screaming at each other about mostly stupid stuff, I think I speak for everybody when I say:
Feb 27, 2015, 12:40 PM EST
Former Notre Dame president Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., died Thursday night on campus. Father Ted was 97. He said his final mass on Thursday, the day he passed away.
Feb 26, 2015, 3:24 PM EST
Gone are Cody Riggs and Austin Collinsworth. Returning is a safety position that’s struggled, another transfer, a young cornerback on the rise, and (hopefully) an exiled potential star.
Welcome to the Notre Dame secondary. New coaching, same scheme, different players, and one of 2015’s great unknowns.
Feb 25, 2015, 2:34 PM EST
As we get a few extra weeks to prep for spring practice, let’s open the mailbag.
Feb 24, 2015, 6:56 PM EST
A position that looked like a huge question mark entering the 2014 season ended the year with an embarrassment of riches. After watching Will Fuller emerge with a record-setting sophomore season, the loss of DaVaris Daniels and departure of TJ Jones didn’t do anything to slow the Irish passing game down.
Feb 24, 2015, 1:34 PM EST
None of Notre Dame’s coaching changes are official yet. But more arrows point to North Carolina defensive line coach Keith Gilmore joining the Irish staff in the same role.
Feb 23, 2015, 12:43 AM EST
There might not be a deeper unit on the roster than the offensive line. After a lack of depth made it nearly impossible to practice at full speed heading into the 2012 BCS title game, Notre Dame enters the 2015 season with a two-deep most teams would pay for.
Feb 20, 2015, 10:48 AM EST
Whether it’s the Siberian Express rolling through most of the country (sorry, guys) or the grand reshuffling taking place on Brian Kelly’s coaching staff, Notre Dame announced a delay in the kickoff of spring practice.
Feb 19, 2015, 11:44 AM EST
After an incredibly impressive run at the position, Notre Dame enters spring practice with nothing but question marks at tight end. After Brian Kelly watched Kyle Rudolph, Tyler Eifert, Troy Niklas and now Ben Koyack churn through his program, he’ll spend spring trying to figure out what exactly he has at the position.
Feb 18, 2015, 11:47 AM EST
On Tuesday, a flurry of reports had Brian Kelly focusing in on the final pieces of his reshuffled coaching staff. They include two likely additions, one transition, and a position shift.
Feb 18, 2015, 11:18 AM EST
A few days after safety Avery Sebastian announced his intentions, Notre Dame made the commitment and graduate transfer of the former Cal safety official. Sebastian will enroll in graduate school and join the team in June.
Feb 17, 2015, 4:12 PM EST
After missing out on a running back in the 2014 recruiting cycle, a once crowded depth chart now only features Tarean Folston and Greg Bryant. Two backs that once worried about having to find snaps will now have all the work they could ever want, with the majority of spring spent doing everything they can to stay healthy.
Feb 16, 2015, 2:20 PM EST
One of the most impressive statistical seasons in school history was flushed down the toilet when Everett Golson could not stop turning the football over. With fumbles, poor decision-making and some plain bad luck plaguing Golson’s otherwise exceptional season, Brian Kelly chose Malik Zaire to be his starter for the Music City Bowl.
Feb 16, 2015, 8:45 AM EST
Finishing up a holiday weekend with part three of the mailbag.
Feb 14, 2015, 7:18 PM EST
Let’s continue with the mailbag, starting with my guess as to how the quarterback battle this spring ends up.
Feb 14, 2015, 1:42 PM EST
Notre Dame has its next two-sport athlete. Sophomore wide receiver Torii Hunter Jr. has joined the baseball team, UND.com announced.
Feb 13, 2015, 11:55 AM EST
We’re going to break up this mailbag into a few different sections as well. With a lot of changes swirling through Brian Kelly’s football program, there’s plenty to cover on a usually slow February weekend.
Feb 12, 2015, 10:18 PM EST
Brian Kelly hinted that Notre Dame wasn’t finished adding players to the roster on Signing Day. And on Thursday night, Kelly and the Irish coaching staff shored up one of their major deficiencies by adding Cal graduate transfer Avery Sebastian.
Feb 11, 2015, 1:38 PM EST
Just days after losing Tony Alford, it looks like Brian Kelly is making a large move on his offensive coaching staff. Multiple reports have Boise State offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Mike Sanford joining Notre Dame’s offensive staff.
Feb 11, 2015, 12:14 PM EST
Wasn’t this supposed to be a slow week? We’ve got coaching searches, potential transfers and so much more going on. Spring practice begins in three weeks. Let’s get a mailbag going. Drop your questions below or on Twitter @KeithArnold.