Kizer makes his debut on Mel Kiper’s big board


Coming off his worst—and most difficult—game in an Irish uniform. DeShone Kizer is excited to get back into the cozy confines of Notre Dame Stadium, where a picture-perfect weather forecast awaits.

“I’ve never been more excited to be in South Bend, I can tell you that,” Kizer said on Wednesday. “Hurricane Matthew has gone past, and we’re thankful up here.”

As the heart of the season approaches, the goals for the Irish change. And one of those big ones might be the stay-or-go decision for Kizer, who avoided commenting on any decision on the NFL when he was asked about it last week. But if he returns, along with Mike McGlinchey, the entire offense for Notre Dame could be reunited in 2017.

But as game tape accumulates, it’s clear that Kizer has a ton of eyes on him. And the godfather of NFL Draft talk, ESPN’s Mel Kiper, just added him to his most-recent big board.

Kizer ranks only behind Clemson’s Deshaun Watson at the quarterback position, checking in at No. 18 on Kiper’s board.

You all should know about Kizer if you’re following the college football season. Todd McShay has had the Notre Dame signal-caller in his Top 32 for a few weeks. But this is his debut in the Big Board, and it has nothing to do with his talent — it’s because he’s a third-year sophomore. I just don’t know if the 6-foot-4, 230-pound QB has the experience yet. But the tape doesn’t lie; he’s a phenomenal prospect (just make sure you throw out the tape — on every player — of Notre Dame’s loss to NC State in a torrential downpour). I’m excited to see how he progresses over the course of the season.

While Kizer gets an understandable mulligan for last weekend, a nice performance against Stanford this weekend should get the Irish offense back in rhythm, and also re-establish Kizer as one of college football’s premier quarterbacks.