Notre Dame freshman quarterback Gunner Kiel spoke about the passing of his uncle Blair for the first time on Saturday following Notre Dame's spring practice.
Blair Kiel was Notre Dame's quarterback in the 1980s and went on to play in the NFL. He died last Sunday at the age of 50 of natural causes. He had been battling Crohn's disease.
Gunner missed practice on Wednesday to attend his Uncle's funeral.
"It's really tough," an emotional Kiel explained Saturday with tears in his eyes. "To lose an uncle that is young--I mean he died at the age of 50, which is tough. It's so sudden."
"God has a plan for all of us and that was the plan. Now I have a guardian angel that will be with me all the time."
Gunner, who enrolled early at Notre Dame, was looking forward to his uncle being able to see him play in a game as the Irish quarterback.
"I really wanted to come and see me and I wanted to be able to give him a hug and all that stuff after the game," Gunner continued. "I have him in my heart now. He's always going to be there and he's always going to be looking after me."
Gunner is one of four quarterbacks battling to Notre Dame's starter. The Blue-Gold game is next Saturday.