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Kizer ready for challenge at Notre Dame

Jan 3, 2014, 5:56 PM EDT

Toledo Blade Property of the Toledo Blade

Brian Kelly has made a point of signing a quarterback in every class. After inheriting Andrew Hendrix and Tommy Rees, Kelly added Luke Massa to his debut class in South Bend. He signed Everett Golson the next year, a two-sport athlete that was set to play basketball and football at North Carolina. He snagged five-star LSU-bound QB Gunner Kiel at the eleventh hour before bringing in Malik Zaire last season.

Only Golson and Zaire remain, with Golson’s well-discussed sabbatical only now bringing him back to campus. While many wondered if a potentially crowded depth chart was going to leave the quarterback position unfilled in this recruiting class, Notre Dame is set to welcome Toledo’s Deshone Kizer as a critical piece of the 2014 recruiting class… not to mention a depth chart that sorely needs a third scholarship quarterback.

Kizer is an intriguing prospect. Offers from Alabama, Louisville, LSU, Northwestern and Wisconsin give you an idea about his ranging skill-set. At 6-foot-5, he’s the tallest quarterback Kelly has recruited to South Bend. But he’s also mobile enough to be thought of as a dual-threat quarterback by just about every recruiting service, a consensus 4-star prospect.

Yet Kizer seems to be flying a bit under the radar as we approach Signing Day. He wasn’t on either the Under Armor or US Army All-American rosters. But one look at his senior tape gives you an idea of the type of player the Irish are getting. A tall, smooth athlete, the ball comes out of Kizer’s hand with ease, the type of arm strength that you can only see getting bigger as he hits a college weight room. His on-field IQ also seems to be a strong suit, with Kizer’s highlight reel showing a quarterback that’s made a habit of making throws on time and precisely, with accuracy both vertical down the field and fitting balls in tight spaces. And even at 6-5, he’s comfortable keeping the ball on the zone read, running for 530 yards on 8.5 yards per carry this season.

The Toledo Free Press profiled Kizer today, with the Central Catholic star almost fulfilling his destiny by going from one Fighting Irish program to another. The first-team D-III All-Ohio quarterback also seems to have his head on his shoulders, understanding the challenge that awaits him in South Bend.

After watching Gunner Kiel pick up and leave rather than compete with Everett Golson, Kizer’s attitude must be music to Irish fans ears:

“I just want to make sure I come in and learn from a guy who has been in a national championship game and has had success on the national stage,” Kizer told the Free Press. “Would I like to play? Of course. I’m not the type of guy who is just going to walk in and want to sit the bench for my first year there. I want to get in and compete and play. I know it will take a lot of work and take a lot of time here at Central for the next five months to prepare myself before I get there. If I walk into a place and think that I am just going to take the job of a quarterback who has been in a national championship without working hard for it, then I am clueless. That’s exactly what’s not going to happen.”

As we get closer to Signing Day, we’ll take a closer look at Notre Dame’s incoming prospects. But it looks as though Brian Kelly has a good quarterback coming in to anchor his offensive recruiting class.



  1. yaketyyacc - Jan 4, 2014 at 7:03 AM

    just think of the headlines. Kaiser leads ND. Kaiser wins another battle. no surprise that Kaiser is no 1. the Heisman bows to the mighty Kaiser.
    the kid is natural.

    • ndadvocate - Jan 4, 2014 at 2:07 PM

      Why all the thumbs down? I love a good play on words.

  2. runners00 - Jan 4, 2014 at 8:35 AM

    Four star recruit that is 6 foot 4 and has speed and arm. I like him.

    As for the lovefest for Golson, I will wait and see how he does in spring practice and in preseason 2014. Going in, he should have the job but both Zaire and this kid will give him a run. And this is how it should be.

  3. ndrocks2 - Jan 4, 2014 at 9:29 AM

    Basically everything you are saying about Kizer could be said about Malik except Malik comes from a much smaller school so in theory he is a bigger reach. Malik is a big athletic kid but he was bigger and faster than just about everyone he played against in high school.

    It will be interesting to see how he has developed passing the ball next season. Wish them both well and if everything goes right for us Malik will get a little mop up time and Kizer will red shirt. I’m looking forward to the kid from California coming in the following year, I believe he will be the highest rated QB on the team coming into college anyway. Keep them coming every year, you never know who is going to stick.

    Go ND!!!

    • bearcatboy - Jan 5, 2014 at 4:30 PM

      Alter isn’t that much smaller at division 4 and from personal experience the cincinnati/dayton pumps out more talent than the toledo area

  4. goirishgo - Jan 4, 2014 at 9:34 AM

    Pretty common for 6’5″ QBs with speed and a big arm to be highly recruited. As Keith pointed out he’s also got a frame that will fill out and he’s smart enough to do the academic work at ND. Schools evaluate recruits as much on potential as results so it’s not hard to understand why the D1 guys are lined up for him.

    Maybe he’ll work out, maybe not – but he does sound like a risk worth taking.

  5. irishlee10 - Jan 4, 2014 at 12:10 PM

    I hung it up. Focusing on school. My best friend plays on the team though, he’s excited about chuck Martin. It is a little preppy but it’s a beautiful campus with great academics. I love it.

  6. bernhtp - Jan 4, 2014 at 2:31 PM

    Too many on this board are very quick to judge and get just plain nasty. If you’re going to be a fan of ND football, you may also want to become a fan of the values the university holds and teaches.

    When I read irishlee10’s assessment of Kizer – talented, but probably not enough to beat out Golson and Zaire in front of him and Barnett in back of him – based upon personal contact, I took it at face value. That doesn’t mean I believe everything posted on the internet. But there was nothing in the post that raised my skepticism. In fact, the analysis seems likely.

    Kizer is sandwiched between some very talented and more highly recruited guys, beginning with two years of Golson who is already proven. When I watch Kizer’s tape, I see a tall and athletic kid with some good QB instincts and abilities, but still a bit of a project. His footwork and throwing mechanics need a lot of development, for example. But you can’t teach 6’5” or fast. Maybe his development really takes off and goes the direction of a Colin Kaepernick or RG3. Maybe not.

    Anyway, irishlee10, thanks for the comment.

  7. irishlee10 - Jan 4, 2014 at 2:48 PM

    Thank you bern, great analysis. He got recruited because he was 6’5″ and has a good arm. A lot of work to be done if he wants to be the starting quarterback at notre dame.. barring injuries. He is a smart kid, that’s part if the reason he went to notre dame.

    • mediocrebob - Jan 5, 2014 at 10:22 AM

      Most QBs out of HS have a lot of work to do before playing at a D1 college.

  8. newmexicoirish - Jan 4, 2014 at 3:15 PM

    NYLES MORGAN is Irish!!!! Great linebacker pick up – Go Irish!

  9. irishpuma - Jan 4, 2014 at 3:27 PM

    Morgan is a nice get! Come on Keith it has been over 5 minutes where is the article big man??? Just kidding buddy keep up the good work.

  10. wisner74 - Jan 4, 2014 at 3:38 PM


  11. mtflsmitty - Jan 4, 2014 at 4:00 PM

    Myles Morgan makes a good call:

  12. yogihilt - Jan 4, 2014 at 5:01 PM

    SERIOUSLY (in caps) I turn on the Chiefs Colts game to enjoy some NFL, and I have to hear Mike Mayock.. the arrogant putz.. thought we got rid of him til Sept.

  13. mediocrebob - Jan 4, 2014 at 5:13 PM

    Mayock is legit. Beats the hell out of Hayden

    • wisner74 - Jan 4, 2014 at 5:57 PM

      I definitely agree with you, Bob, re Mayock. Yogi, I have no idea what you’re complaining about. Mayock clearly knows what he’s talking about, and is both smart and articulate. He’s got kind of a weird voice for a commentator, but that’s the only thing that bothers me about him

      I do think he’s been an upgrade from Hayden, who was OK in my book. Mayock is way better.

      BTW, the Irish hoopsters are giving Duke a game. Skip the NFL for now, and turn to CBS!

  14. mediocrebob - Jan 4, 2014 at 6:14 PM

    Where are all the Brey haters?

    • mayesdays - Jan 4, 2014 at 6:19 PM

      Awesome win!! That dunk by Connaughton over Jabari Parker was insane! Go Irish!!!!

  15. bernhtp - Jan 4, 2014 at 6:19 PM

    Just beat Duke in our first-ever ACC basketball game. Gutsy effort even more impressive after Grant’s loss.

  16. paulhargis53 - Jan 4, 2014 at 6:47 PM

    Cmon Bobby, you know you cant ignore me, you have an incessant need to get the last word in. You couldn’t ignore us trolls if your life depended on it.

    I am proud of you from refraining from calling other grown men sweetie on a sports blog though. That was kind of creepy.

    I’ve been cutting you a break as I have been a bit under the weather, expect to hear from me more in the coming months.

    • wisner74 - Jan 4, 2014 at 8:00 PM

      Ignore the man behind the curtain.

  17. paulhargis53 - Jan 4, 2014 at 8:47 PM

    Ah yes, the great Wisner, the guy who HAS to respond to almost each and every posting.

    P.S. Keep tying your stupid joke, maybe one day it will be funny.(Doubtful)

    That you are defending Bob speaks volumes about you.

    • irishpuma - Jan 4, 2014 at 11:55 PM


      SIDE NOTE DO YOU EVEN HAVE CURTAINS? MOSTLY SHUTTERS AND BLINDS OUT HERE IN CALI. I would think maybe a two way mirror would be a better analogy Wisner. Before you post Wisner I am aware of your saying and its meaning just trying to keep you more in the current time and space.

      Side Side note I love Bern but I have had enough of the Vanderdoesn’t posts as well. Was not even funny the first time.

      Happy hunting Hargie.

      • wisner74 - Jan 5, 2014 at 6:55 PM

        I gotta say, Puma, you make me laugh.

  18. paulhargis53 - Jan 5, 2014 at 5:56 AM

    puma- will see what I can do. Bob is in one of his down cycles where he is trying to ignore me.( That won’t last).

    As for the Wisner’s 75 year old movie quote….listen, maybe he got a few thumbs up for it at one time????

    It seems to be his “go to” quote( which is pretty sad) when he has nothing to add ( you’d think we’d see it A LOT more often).

    He’s a guy that usually has about 10-200 posts per article, a guy that takes ND football and the back and forth on this board waaaaay too seriously.

    I’m sure he will come back with, ” Frankly Hargis, I don’t give a damn.” ( what I think)
    I mean if he’s gonna quote movies, may as well stay in 1939, right?

    • wisner74 - Jan 5, 2014 at 6:57 PM

      Nice try, Paul.

      Bob – Ignore the man behind the curtain.

  19. paulhargis53 - Jan 5, 2014 at 6:02 AM

    I have curtains. I’m in fly over territory at the present time.
    It works though, “cuz its curtains for mediocre boob and Wisner”. ( that’s done in my best Edward G. Robinson voice).

    Wisner wouldn’t recognize a quote from the last 20 years anymore than Bob would go on a date with a girl.( they can’t)

    • irishpuma - Jan 5, 2014 at 8:37 PM


  20. paulhargis53 - Jan 6, 2014 at 8:59 AM

    if you’re going to ignore me, get it right. I’m the man who wipes his a$$ on the curtains, I’m not behind it.

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