Gunner Kiel, one of the hottest high school quarterbacks in the nation from Columbus East High School in Columbus, Ind., delayed his college decision Tuesday after saying he would make the announcement on the Monday after Christmas. The 6'3, 215-pound quarterback has 15 schools on his list and has received offers from each and every one of them, including some of the best schools in the country like LSU, Alabama and USC.
Kiel was selected as Indiana's Mr. Football in his senior year, passing for 2,517 yards and 28 touchdowns in his final high school season. The four-star recruit has received offers from USC, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, LSU, Notre Dame, Michigan, Missouri, Oklahoma, Vanderbilt, Wisconsin, Alabama, Illinois, Cincinnati, Iowa, Purdue, TCU and Tennessee. On the ESPNU 150 list, he is the No. 20 prospect in the nation and the No. 2 quarterback behind Hueytown, Alabama's Jameis Winston, who has committed to Florida State. He is also ranked No. 17 overall by Scout.com and No. 18 overall by Rivals.com.
In July, Kiel committed to his home state's university, Indiana University, but de-committed from the school in October. His brother Dusty is already a quarterback for the Hoosiers, but the team only won a single game last season, finishing the year with a 1-11 record in the Big Ten. Kiel is reportedly deciding between LSU, Vanderbilt and Notre Dame.
It'll be a gut feeling, Kiel said on Tuesday. It's been a very hard decision.
There's a good chance Kiel will stay in his home state and play for Notre Dame, but the Fighting Irish have been struggling for the greater part of 15 years. Many believe Kiel will instead pick one of the nation's top schools; he has received offers from seven schools in the AP Top 25, including No. 1 LSU, No. 2 Alabama, No. 5 USC, No. 9 Wisconsin, No. 13 Michigan, No. 16 TCU, and No. 18 Georgia.
Kiel may be waiting until after Jan. 9, when two of his top choices, No. 1 LSU and No. 2 Alabama, will duke it out in the Allstate BCS National Championship game. Both teams from the SEC West have split the majority of national championship games over the last decade.
In 2012, LSU will be looking to replace its QBs Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee. Kiel would need to compete with freshmen Stephen Rivers and Jerrard Randall, as well as Zach Mettenberger, a rising junior transfer from Butler Community College. He made an unofficial visit to LSU on Nov. 25 to watch the Tigers play their regular-season finale against the Arkansas Razorbacks, and officially visited the school four days later. LSU returned the favor and sent their QB coach Steve Kragthrpe to Kiel's playoff game against East Central on Oct. 28.
However, there is an outside chance that if Kiel doesn't attend any of the top-ranked schools, he might return to Indiana University.
He talked to [Indiana] coach [Kevin] Wilson to tell him he's re-evaluating his commitment, said Gunner's father, Kip Kiel. He's going to some games and other places and opening things back up.
Kiel is praised for his size, strength, and range as a quarterback.
He is the type of player you would expect to see under center in a pro-style attack, but here he is in the shotgun, four-wide offense that attacks the entire field vertically and horizontally because Kiel has the arm to make all the necessary college level throws, says Kiel's ESPN scouting report.
Kiel comes from a big family of quarterbacks. His brother Dusty still plays under center at Indiana, and his other brother plays quarterback at Illinois State. His father played QB at Butler University, while his uncle, Blair, used to play quarterback at Notre Dame.