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Irish A-to-Z: DeShone Kizer

Jul 17, 2014, 3:04 PM EDT

Toledo Blade Property of the Toledo Blade

With just two other scholarship quarterbacks on the roster, incoming freshman DeShone Kizer begins his college career a bit closer to the playing field than any head coach would like. But that’s the state of Notre Dame’s program, and Brian Kelly is willing to roll the dice, with Andrew Hendrix spending his fifth year at Miami with Chuck Martin.

For Kizer, there is no intention of seeing the field, but that doesn’t mean preparations haven’t already begun. At the most important position in football, Kizer is one bad break from being one bad break from being Notre Dame’s starting quarterback.

(Follow that?)

A gifted dual-threat high school quarterback, Kizer may be raw, but the materials are there for a standout. Let’s take a closer look at the Irish’s newest quarterback.


6’5″, 212 lbs.



Kizer was a consensus four-star prospect, though closer to the 250th best player in the country than the 50th. But at 6-foot-5, he has the length and size that coaches covet, and his ability to both run and throw earned him offers from Alabama, LSU, Tennessee, Arkansas, Nebraska and Penn State.

A coveted offer from Ohio State never came, even though Kizer camped in Columbus from his freshman year on. And when Kelly beat Urban Meyer to the offer in June, Kizer gave Notre Dame his pledge, and stuck with it through Signing Day.

Here’s what Kelly had to say when things were made official.

“There’s so many things to love about DeShone.  He’s 6’5″. I love that. He’s 212 pounds. I love that,” Kelly said. ” So you can see you’ve got a tall, athletic quarterback who’s got good size.  He’s going to be able to do the multidimensional things that we love.  Now we’ve got three quarterbacks on campus that all do the same things.  You don’t have to adjust your offense.  All three of the quarterbacks, we finally‑‑ all do the same things.”



Kizer will likely have five years to realize his potential in the Irish offense. And with the loss of Blake Barnett in the 2015 class — and no substitute looking all that likely — he’s got a great opportunity to fight for a job when life begins after Everett Golson.

Kizer has all the raw tools needed to be a good quarterback, and his athleticism is going to make life easier for Kelly, offensive coordinator Mike Denbrock and quarterback coach Matt LaFleur. And after seeing Notre Dame struggle to keep high-profile recruits on their roster when the deck looked stacked against him, a quote Kizer provided to the Toledo Free Press has to have Irish fans smiling.

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.”

The opportunity likely won’t be there immediately. But given the chance, it sure seems like Kizer’s attitude is right.



As we saw last year with Malik Zaire, Brian Kelly will protect Kizer’s fifth year. (After seeing Andrew Hendrix in the second half against USC, it might be by any means necessary.) So Kizer’s future isn’t in 2014. It probably isn’t 2015, either.

While right now it’s feeling a lot like Blake Barnett is the one that got away, Kizer is no slouch. Tom Lemming ranking him 40th overall in the country, and he certainly had some intriguing options to play college football. His athletic build translates very well to playing not just on Saturday, but Sunday.

While it puts the Irish in a pressure situation if an injury (or other off-the-field incident) occurs, having three quarterbacks should make it easier to avoid a transfer. And with LaFleur on campus to tutor both Zaire and Kizer, the Ohio-native who picks things up the best will likely take the reins of the program in 2016.



The Irish A-to-Z
Josh Atkinson
Nicky Baratti
Alex Bars
Hunter Bivin
Grant Blankenship
Jonathan Bonner
Justin Brent
Kyle Brindza
Chris Brown
Jalen Brown
Greg Bryant
Devin Butler
Jimmy Byrne
Daniel Cage
Amir Carlisle
Austin Collinsworth
Ben Councell
Scott Daly
Sheldon Day
Michael Deeb
Steve Elmer
Matthias Farley
Tarean Folston
Everett Golson
Jarrett Grace
Conor Hanratty
Eilar Hardy
Mark Harrell
Jay Hayes
Matt Hegarty
Mike Heuerman
Kolin Hill
Corey Holmes
Chase Hounshell
Torii Hunter Jr.
Jarron Jones




  1. irishmob89 - Jul 17, 2014 at 3:24 PM

    Great kid. Very well mannered and well spoken as well as a good attitude. I also like the fact that he’s big. Great fit for the Spread Offense. He obviously won’t play for the next few years unless there’s injuries but it will still be fun to see him compete. Maybe in a few years, he will get his chance.

    With that said, allow me to guess what John’s comment will say: “He isn’t five stars. MAC level quarterback with no SEC or USC potential, but gee, I’ll sure be rooting for the young lad”.

    • iamgolden4life - Jul 18, 2014 at 12:31 PM

      Could anyone imagine watching an entire ND game with John? I myself would have a hard time doing so. DeShone Kizer has tons of potential and seems to be highly competitive while also having a clear understanding that nothing will be given to him. The QB competition is most likely only going to benefit ND in the long run. It seems many moons ago when I would wish we had a dual threat QB @ ND, we now have 3. That being said we have already had on campus 2016 5 star QB’s Malik Henry, Jacob Eason (his father played @ ND), Jawan Pass, and Shea Patterson. Great work by Brian Kelly and staff. GoIrish!!!!

  2. nudeman - Jul 17, 2014 at 3:26 PM

    I’ve seen it said by guys in the biz of evaluating talent that they don’t give a fig about stars, and when they’re trying to size up a recruit they look at his offer list.

    Alabama, LSU, Tennessee, Arkansas, Nebraska and Penn State …
    I wonder what our boy johngaltis thinks of THAT


    As in “I don’t really want to know”.

    • johngaltisspeaking - Jul 17, 2014 at 9:19 PM

      yawn….. Who won the last 10 national titles? did any of those teams recruit in the top 10. I am finished with you next….

  3. johngaltisspeaking - Jul 17, 2014 at 5:38 PM

    I would say this kid is Big East / Tony Pike Material. I don’t think he is going to be as good as Blake who happens to be Straight up SEC talent..

    • irishinmich - Jul 17, 2014 at 5:58 PM

      Hey johngaltistrolling , I am sure Blake was Big East talent too until he jumped ship. Thanks for making irishmob89 look like a prophet. Now go away. Thanks

  4. johngaltisspeaking - Jul 17, 2014 at 5:42 PM

    BTW anyone see Houstons New Field. I think ND should have taken some pointers from them. I love the end zone designs. I think ND could have come up with something better than the slashes.

    • brianfallon6 - Jul 17, 2014 at 7:14 PM

      You live a sad life, my man.

    • andy44teg - Jul 18, 2014 at 10:44 AM

      A skyline of South Bend?…yeah….how ’bout like a big Pope hat @ the 35’s instead of the shamrocks while we’re at it?? and replace the interlocking ND @ the 50 with a GIANT Fighting Irish leprechaun!

    • papadec - Jul 21, 2014 at 2:16 PM

      Tex-Mex gaudy & too busy. I like the ND field.

  5. oldschoollyons - Jul 17, 2014 at 6:48 PM

    Keith, now you have Golson not only winning the job this year but holding it throughout the entire season, keeping it again before next season and holding it throughout 2015. It could happen; but that’s a lot to expect from the second best quarterback on the team.

  6. johngaltisfelching - Jul 17, 2014 at 8:09 PM

    I can think of 1842 reasons why john galt secretly craves the nozzle of douche

  7. johngaltisspeaking - Jul 17, 2014 at 9:15 PM

    If golsen is good someone is going to transfer. potential sec get….

    • idratherbeinsouthbend - Jul 18, 2014 at 1:47 AM

      How is it a potential SEC get if all of our players are MAC/Big East quality?

      Sounds like johngaltisspeaking out both sides of his mouth

  8. yaketyyacc - Jul 18, 2014 at 6:01 AM

    with the Kaiser, I mean Kizer, added to our roster, the offense is solid at quarterback. even Kelly cannot make a mistake, no matter who he choses to start. Golson, Zaire, Kizer. Still put me money on Zaire first. While Golson has been away, Zaire has built a familiarity that Golson will find it hard to match. ah, but what a nice problem to have. and to think there is Kizer recruited by some of the top teams is in the mix. break a leg Notre Dame!

  9. irishdog80 - Jul 18, 2014 at 9:53 AM

    Just think of all the time and energy that had to be dedicated to teaching the offense two different schemes. With the offense and QBs all moving in the same focused direction, we will have to have much better results than the last 4 years. Kizer will be great at running the Scout team…he can provide lots of different looks. That said, I hope Zaire gets to see the field in any blowout wins we have.

    With respect to Hendrix, I get the sense that Kelly’s intensity with his QBs did not bring out his best. I hope Hendrix has a great season with Miami and gets the chance to show the real Andrew Hendrix.

  10. 1historian - Jul 18, 2014 at 11:12 AM

    2 questions from an uncaring observer –

    1) Do you guys even have a clue how much JohnGaltisspeaking is having getting under your skin?

    2) Why do you make it so easy? You have (I assume) ND degrees – which make you superior – and you let this guy get the best of you every single time.

    • mediocrebob - Jul 18, 2014 at 12:00 PM

      1) a notre dame degree doesn’t make you a superior person. That’s an insane rationale.

      2) I’d have to say that he hasn’t gotten under anyone’s skin. He’s boring and says the same thing over and over. He seems to be bothering you more than anyone else.

      3) who cares?

      • johngaltisspeaking - Jul 18, 2014 at 12:36 PM

        A Notre Dame make you superior ? WTF are you talking abou you looney tunes…. LOL
        Did you just really say that or am I imagining things…..

      • 1historian - Jul 18, 2014 at 1:08 PM

        1) It’s known as sarcasm.

        2) A) “He hasn’t gotten under anyone’s skin.” I beg to differ with you.

        B) “He’s boring and says the same thing over and over.” We agree. Given his name – John Galt, I have made several references to the book and he has not replied, leading to the question – does he know the book?

        C) “He seems to be bothering you more than anyone else.” – Wrong. I made my original (witty and incisive) comment because he seems to go out of his way to make asinine comments designed to piss people off, and a lot of you make it really easy.

        3) Who cares? Precisely my point – ignore the guy.

        Do you know what book I am talking about? If so – have you read it? How many of you out there have read it?

      • mediocrebob - Jul 18, 2014 at 2:01 PM

        Historian- You’re “under my skin” now. Damnit.

        I guess I’ll just go about my day as usual. You got me.

      • johngaltisspeaking - Jul 18, 2014 at 2:21 PM

        What the hell are you talking about MR 1 2 3…. Just chill out its a message board about ND Football. Be happy the season is starting very soon and hopefully we will be watching ND tear apart RICE.

    • idratherbeinsouthbend - Jul 18, 2014 at 12:02 PM


      Valid questions. But, speaking from my own experience, I’m rather amused by stupidity in general. It entertains me, except when I’m driving. Then I’m just annoyed.

      I laugh at the clown. But if we are really putting this into perspective, he’s here for the same reason as the rest of us. We gather some entertainment value from this blog and the banter that presents itself.

      I would imagine that he is also getting some entertainment value from it…making ridiculous comments and then waiting to see the responses.

      No harm, no foul.

      • 1historian - Jul 18, 2014 at 1:09 PM

        No harm no foul.

        Thumbs up.

      • johngaltisspeaking - Jul 18, 2014 at 1:32 PM

        Why is it so ridiculous to call a kid SEC Talent ? Espn does it all the time and even 247 mods refer to Notre Dame getting SEC talent. I just think this crowd is way too uptight…. And I believe many of you agree with me deep down inside but are afraid to show support.

      • DPU Man ND Fan - Jul 18, 2014 at 7:23 PM

        I fully believe that jgisspeaking posts in the nude. Ironically, I also happen to believe that Nudeman posts fully clad.

    • papadec - Jul 21, 2014 at 2:30 PM

      1hist – I don’t (big sigh) have a ND degree. Northeastern in Boston. I do have a “Subway Alumni” certificate somewhere. I just enjoy poking the trolls, & sometimes herding them, with a stick – keeps me off the streets & out of trouble. Kind of like recess duty at the elementary school – most of what they have to say is the same maturity level as those kids.

  11. iowairish - Jul 18, 2014 at 11:22 AM

    I am excited for the ND quarterbacks this year. Golson will start, but I am not sure he will finish the year as the starter. I would like to think he will but Zaire has that “swag” about him.

    Has anyone watched or read up on Malik Henry? I would love to see ND snag him.

    • idratherbeinsouthbend - Jul 18, 2014 at 12:03 PM

      NCAA rules prohibit two Maliks on a roster I think…at least that SOUNDS like a rule they would create…..for the betterment of the student athlete of course.

      • sjb198 - Jul 18, 2014 at 12:23 PM

        Why the thumbs down? That was hilarious. The rationale of the NCAA is becoming more and more ridiculous with each passing year.

  12. 1historian - Jul 18, 2014 at 1:16 PM

    JohnGaltisspeaking – Your 12:36 – I strongly advise you to look in your dictionary (or buy one) and look up the word ‘sarcasm’.

    FYI – A ‘Dictionary’ is a book which contains definitions of words.

    A ‘book’ is ….

    Oh, forget it.

    Everyone else – I rest my case.

    My work here is done.

  13. ndgoldandblue - Jul 18, 2014 at 2:15 PM

    All right. I know that this isn’t the entry that covers it, but I gotta’ throw in my two cents on the field turf. Certain people in the Notre Dame blogosphere (specifically the blog I referred to earlier this week) can’t find anything positive to say about Brian Kelly, Jack Swarbrick, or anyone associated with Notre Dame. These are people who went to the university and supposedly love it, yet they can’t say anything positive about it. I mean…field turf? Is field turf worth the complaints and snarky jokes? There are more important things to worry about than, what appears to be, a tastefully-done artificial surface. It’s not blue, after all.

    It’s like I tell my father, who is a Tea Party Republican–pick your battles. Enough with the birther stuff; stop with the global warming hoax nonsense. If you complain about everything, no one will take you seriously. As a fan, I have concerns going into this season, starting with quarterback. We have the studs. Now, how will they perform? What about the defense? Outside of Russell, the entire secondary is unproven. The same goes for the line and linebackers. What about redzone efficiency, or special teams? These are genuine concerns for the fanbase. Not field turf. If that’s your complaint, then you’re grasping at straws. I’m telling you guys this because you all seem to agree that the playing surface, as long as it’s an improvement, isn’t a story. There…rant done.

    • wisner74 - Jul 19, 2014 at 1:41 PM

      Nice post.

  14. johngaltisfelching - Jul 18, 2014 at 2:21 PM

    I may not get under your skin, but I SURE DO know an orifice I love invading

    • idratherbeinsouthbend - Jul 18, 2014 at 4:40 PM

      is that you jerry Sandusky?

  15. johngaltisspeaking - Jul 18, 2014 at 3:22 PM

    I think the ACC needs to pursue Oklahoma and Texas to secure our Future Conference when we go to a true playoff. You would have Texas, Oklahoma, Florida State, Miami, Clemson and Notre Dame. That right there can compete with any conference in the country. The Pac 12 is making a move on the SEC. The Pac -12 has some of the best coaching in the country. Peterson who is truly my favorite coach, Mike Leach, David Shaw, Jim Mora, Todd Graham, Sarkisian, and Kyle Whittingham, who is another big coach under the radar. I am not sure if Texas can bolt from the Big 12 due to the LHN but I think the future of the Big 12 is in jeopardy. Currently the way the ACC stands for Football I don’t see it ever being able to contend with the SEC or PAC-12.

    • idratherbeinsouthbend - Jul 18, 2014 at 4:58 PM

      intelligent, insightful, and I agree

    • papadec - Jul 21, 2014 at 2:45 PM

      Gee-whiz – I thought FSU was in the ACC, and also thought someone posted here that the 2013 NC FSU team could have beaten the 2012 Bama team. Why, jg – wasn’t that you?

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