Add QB Gunner Kiel to the list of weekend visitors

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In a weekend packed with enough recruiting stars to make even Tom Lemming’s head explode, the Irish will have to make room for one more five-star.

Touted blue-chip quarterback Gunner Kiel has decided to open up his recruitment and take a visit to Notre Dame for the weekend. The Columbus, Indiana native with family ties to the Irish picked the Indiana Hoosiers and new head coach Kevin Wilson months ago, where his brother Dusty is battling for the starting quarterback job.

Steve Wiltfong, formerly of the Irish beat and currently a national reporter for 247Sports.com, broke the story:

Columbus (Ind.) East five-star quarterback Gunner Kiel called Indiana coach Kevin Wilson on Thursday night and told him he’s reevaluating his commitment to the Hoosiers program.

The 6-foot-4, 218-pound Kiel committed to Indiana back in July over a national offer list from the likes of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Stanford, TCU, Tennessee, USC and Wisconsin.

“I’m just reevaluating my decision and plan on taking some future visits to other colleges,” Kiel told 247Sports on Friday morning.

That first visit will be an unofficial on Saturday to Notre Dame for the USC game.

With the news rippling through the recruiting blogosphere (Gunner Kiel was trending nationally on Twitter this afternoon), Tyler James and Bob Wieneke of the South Bend Tribune’s Irish Sports Report got a good quote from Kiel’s mother:

“It’s a hard decision to come to, and this is his future and these are his plans,” Aleta Kiel, Gunner’s mother, said Friday. “So at this time, he wanted to talk to Coach Wilson, and he did that last night.

“At this time he’s just re-evaluating everything and kind of opening everything up. He wants to make sure that he’s 100 percent sure where he goes.”

The Irish haven’t taken a quarterback in this recruiting class and were pretty selective with their offers. Yet they must have continued to chase Kiel and it’s possible that Tommy Rees’ ascension to the top of the depth chart made Kiel feel like the line was a little bit shorter, with Dayne Crist’s return unlikely.

Kiel is widely regarding as one of the top two quarterbacks in the country.