Multiple sources are reporting that Notre Dame sophomore quarterback Gunner Kiel will transfer from the university. The former five-star recruit did not play last season as a freshman after enrolling early last spring. Sophomore Everett Golson won the job with veterans Tommy Rees and Andrew Hendrix backing him up. Kiel had given no signal that he was planning on leaving as recently as a few weeks ago, but with talent surrounding him and more on the way, Kiel will look to find an opportunity to play somewhere else.
Kiel's journey to Notre Dame was a wild one. Originally committed to Indiana, Kiel backed out of that pledge before eventually deciding to enroll at LSU over Notre Dame. However, on the day he was set to move to Baton Rouge, Kiel once again backed out of a commitment and enrolled with the Irish.
His decision to leave should come as no surprise. With Golson entrenched as the starter and with three years of eligibility remaining, chances are Kiel wouldn't get the chance to start until 2016 as a fifth-year senior. Coupled with the arrival of freshman Malik Zaire, and Kiel's window seemed to be closing rapidly.
The one area of Kiel's departure that does hurt the Irish would be looking at depth for 2014 and beyond. With Tommy Rees out of eligibility and Andrew Hendrix likely leaving and not returning for a fifth-year after 2013, Notre Dame would have just two scholarship quarterbacks on the roster for 2014. That makes securing a commitment from a top-notch quarterback a big priority for Brian Kelly and company in this current recruiting class.
No word yet as to where Kiel will end up. Irish Illustrated is reporting that possible destinations could be Ball State, Miami (OH), Northern Illinois, or Cincinnati.