SOUTH BEND, IN - OCTOBER 22: The Notre Dame Fighting Irish team sports newly painted gold helmuts during a game against the University of Southern California Trojans at Notre Dame Stadium on October 22, 2011 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Notre Dame Football Recruiting: Another Top Class For The Irish

The Irish have very few holes in this excellent recruiting class.

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17 Total Updates since January 17, 2012
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Ronald Darby Recruiting Update: National Signing Day Decision On ESPN Between Auburn, Clemson, Notre Dame & Florida State

Ronald Darby will announce live on ESPN on National Signing Day. He will decide between Florida State, Clemson, Auburn and Notre Dame.


Will Arik Armstead Choose Notre Dame, Auburn Or Someone Else?

Will it be South Bend or the Plains for one of the nation's best recruits?


Notre Dame Football Recruiting: What Will Gunner Kiel Bring To The Irish?

Notre Dame fans are justifiably excited with the commitment of Gunner Kiel. He's one of the top pro-style quarterbacks in the country. But just what does Kiel's commitment mean for the Irish? For that answer, let's turn to the excellent Notre Dame site, One Foot Down:

Immediate Future: Kiel will enter a crowded depth chart at QB, presumably behind 2011 starter Tommy Rees and the Goldrix chimera generated in the laboratory during the offseason.

As an early enrollee, he has the benefit of spring practice to become immersed in the offense and learn the playbook. He has an outside chance of competing for the job as a freshman, but not likely to win the starting job for the season opener vs. Navy in Dublin.

Kiel likely sits a year and retains the eligibility unless he is just too impressive in camp to keep on the sidelines.

Long Term/Career: I think Kiel is about as good a fit for Brian Kelly's offense as anyone out there. While not necessarily a dual-threat QB, he has the arm strength to stretch the field vertically as well as horizontally and is athletic enough to keep a defense honest as a running threat.

Don't expect him to run a lot of zone-read option plays, but the threat is there and will have to be accounted for. When comparisons come to mind, I think he reminds me a bit of Brady Quinn (but with better touch/accuracy) and should end up being a two or three year starter in South Bend.

I do wonder if Notre Dame will ever be able to have a top run game with a pro-style quarterback operating entirely from the shotgun. I suspect they will not. Still, the Irish can have an excellent offense with Kiel at the helm.

Kiel is the jewel of an excellent Notre Dame recruiting class. But how many scholarships do the Irish have left?

According to our friends at One Foot Down (click for excellent statistical breakdown), despite currently having 17 commitments, Notre Dame actually has room for six more recruits! That's certainly setting up the Irish for a strong finish.


Gunner Kiel Officially Announced As Notre Dame Enrollee

It's now official: star Indiana quarterback prospect Gunner Kiel has enrolled early at Notre Dame, the school announced, where he'll play football for the Fighting Irish next year. Up until Monday evening, Kiel was thought to be a solid LSU Tigers commitment, and was expected to enroll early in Baton Rouge.

Commenting on the move, here's Kiel:

"This recruitment process was a roller-coaster ride at times, but I know I have made the right decision for my family and me," Kiel said. "There were three critical elements I was looking for in my future school: the quality of education I would receive, the distance from home and the comfort level I would have with the players and coaches in the football program. Notre Dame was the perfect fit for me because it hit all three areas.

"Coach Kelly was great throughout my recruitment, as many times our conversations had nothing do with football. That really showed me he had my best intentions in mind. He was persistent yet also patient while recruiting me and I look forward to playing for him the next four years. I couldn't be happier to be a member of the Fighting Irish football team. I'm excited about the future of the program."

The Irish also announced early enrollees DL Sheldon Day and DB Tee Shepard, along with USC Trojans transfer RB Amir Carlisle.

Thus, hopefully, concludes for now the Kiel saga, which began when he committed very early in the year for a five-star quarterback to the lowly Indiana Hoosiers.

For more on LSU football, head to And The Valley Shook. For more on Notre Dame football, head to One Foot Down.


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2012 Notre Dame Recruiting: Irish Strong Under Brian Kelly

The Irish have very few holes in this excellent recruiting class.


KeiVarae Russell Commits To Notre Dame Over Washington

The Irish pick up a smooth slasher of a back in KeiVarae Russell.


LSU Recruiting Scouting Report: How Good Is Gunner Kiel?

LSU finally has its blue-chip quarterback recruit in Gunner Kiel, who committed to the Tigers on Tuesday. Paul Crewe of the excellent SB Nation LSU site, And The Valley Shook, has a breakdown of Kiel.

This is certainly worth a read, as Crewe breaks down Kiel's mechanics, size, arm, athleticism, mental game and upside. Here's an excerpt:

... A lot of people compare him to Andy Dalton, which I think is pretty decent. His arm is plenty good enough, but nothing anyone is going to go crazy about. What is most impressive about his throws though, is that, even at this young age, he understands touch. Kiel knows that a 5-yard screen doesn't need to be rifled, nor should a deep out be lofted. He shows a lot of ability to adjust the velocity of his throws based on not just the type of throw, but the type of defense he sees. This is a very good sign.

I'm on board with this. Crewe does state that Kiel's arm is close to being "great." I don't agree with that, but once a quarterback has the requisite arm strength to throw most of the routes, accuracy becomes much more important. And Kiel certainly has enough arm strength.

Crewe also notes the mental side of Kiel's game, which I touched on here. This is a quality evaluation and one LSU fans need to read.

For more on LSU recruiting, visit And The Valley Shook.



Gunner Kiel Commits To LSU Tigers Over Notre Dame, Vanderbilt

A banner day for the LSU Tigers as they land one of the top quarterbacks in the country.


Gunner Kiel Decision Dragging Out, Could Come Soon

Driven by tweets and stories from various Louisiana media, the college football recruiting world was in a fervor Monday, as the top pro-style quarterback, Gunner Kiel, was expected to commit to LSU, Vanderbilt or Notre Dame. Only that didn't happen.

The Kiel camp was silent, and presumably went about enjoying the day after Christmas while contemplating the decision. Still, just about everyone expects Kiel to make a decision fairly soon, because Kiel is going to enroll early at his school of choice, and the paperwork for that sort of thing needs to be submitted fairly shortly. Jamie Newberg is the most prominent national recruiting media member to predict a commitment this week:

QB Gunner Kiel should announce this wk = #LSU, #Vandy, or #NotreDame. Keep hearing Tigers but y no decision yet? Family is still debating
Dec 27 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

Recruitniks will remember that Kiel committed to Indiana over the summer, only to back out of that commitment during the season.

Kiel has taken official visits to all three schools, and all of them obviously have a lot to offer a quarterback.

Vanderbilt is the most interesting choice, as the Commodores had a surprising season and seem to be headed in the right direction under James Franklin. And Vanderbilt did have success with another quarterback from Indiana in Jay Cutler.

So While Kiel seems to be leaning to LSU, don't count out the other two contenders.



VIDEO: 2011 Gunner Kiel Highlights Show What Notre Dame, LSU, Vanderbilt Are After

Gunner Kiel slings it in his senior highlights. Watch one of the nation's top quarterback recruits in new tape.


Gunner Kiel Confirms Indiana De-Commitment And Renewed Recruitment

After a rush of reports that Gunner Kiel, the nation's top-rated quarterback recruit and a longtime Indiana Hoosiers commit, has re-opened his recruitment, the man himself confirmed the story to 247 Sports. Kiel notified coach Kevin Wilson Thursday night, then made the whole thing public Friday morning.

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

He added that he plans to take all five official visits. The first will be Notre Dame on Saturday for their game against the USC Trojans, according to reports.

Here's Indiana blog Crimson Quarry with some instant (and sober!) reaction:

I hope, of course, that when the process is complete Gunner decides to enroll at IU in January 2012. On the other hand, if you are looking for a bunch of moralizing about broken promises, then you're in the wrong place. For all of his football talents, Gunner Kiel is a high school senior deciding where to spend the next few years of his life. That is an intensely personal decision and one that should not be made lightly.

Of course, a verbal commitment should not be extended without careful consideration. It's better when a player is certain when he makes the commitment. On the other hand, I think it's much more important that Gunner or any other player be confident in his college choice. In that sense, it's comparable to breaking an engagement.

For more Kiel and the Hoosiers, visit SB Nation Indiana and The Crimson Quarry.

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