Remember Gunner Kiel? He's Ready to 'Dominate'
Kiel, a Notre Dame transfer and former No. 1 overall pro-style quarterback for the recruiting class of 2012, has the potential to be the greatest to play the position for the Bearcats in school history and is expected to run away with the starting position.
"He was one of the best I've seen in terms of raw tools to work with," said quarterbacks coach Darin Hinshaw, according to GoBearcats.com. "His arm strength and his release—things that I look for—I was very excited to recruit this kid. He did very well in high school and earned the accolades and the high recruiting ranking because he continued to blossom all the way through his senior year. I saw a lot of good things at a young age and so did everybody else. It wasn't hard to see."
Kiel transferred to Cincinnati last April, but had to sit out a season due to NCAA transfer rules. However, with an entire year to learn from sixth-year senior Brendon Kay and time to grasp Tuberville’s offensive approach, the 6-foot-4, 210-pound Columbus (IN) native enters 2014 with a ton of confidence in not only his personal abilities, but also the team as a whole.
"Everyone has a chip on their shoulder,” Kiel said in February. ” We’re definitely the underdog and people are definitely underestimating us, but we’re a great football team. We’re going to stay low key and we’re going to come out of nowhere and we’re going to dominate teams.
“We’re a great football team. We’re definitely something special. I love this team, and we’re going to do something that no one’s seen before.”
Kiel has the resume to go along with his leadership skills, too. In three seasons for Columbus East High School, he threw for 7,362 yards and 89 touchdowns while compiling a 31-5 overall record.
"He's one of these driven kids," said Tuberville. "He wants to play, he wants to do well, and he's going to do everything possible on and off the field—even when the lights are not on and the coach is not out here—to make himself better."
Sounds like a starting quarterback to me.
Kiel has all the intangibles you’d like to see for your signal caller, possessing the size, strength, athleticism and elite passing skills that could help Cincinnati win future American Athletic Conference championships and contend for premier bowl bids in the new College Football Playoffs format.
He should have the advantage over his counterpart in Santa Barbara Community College transfer Jarred Evans (or as I like to call him, Russell Wilson’s clone) due to his high ceiling and relationship with Tuberville. Kiel also has three years of eligibility remaining and could really establish himself as the next era of Cincinnati football by taking control of the program.
Either way, we should know which direction Tuberville wants to take by mid-April.
Follow @Tyler_Waddell and @FanIQ_CFB on Twitter!