A remarkable 20 hours of speculation on twitter, facebook, message boards, and news sites finally came to a climax Tuesday afternoon the old fashioned way.
Notre Dame issued a press release confirming the wildly speculated news---Gunner Kiel---the nation's top quarterback recruit from Columbus, Indiana--will play football at Notre Dame.
We are still 15 days away from National Signing Day but there is no turning back now--Kiel is enrolled in classes at Notre Dame and is locked, sealed and deliver to the Irish.
Originally committed to Indiana, Kiel turned back on decision in the fall. Days after Christmas, he chose LSU over Notre Dame. But over the weekend he had a change of heart.
“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 in a statement released by Notre Dame. “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."
Kiel, who attended Columbus East High School, is just four hours from home.
“Coach Kelly was great throughout my recruitment, as many times our conversations had nothing do with football," Kiel explained. "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 2011 Indiana Mr. Football passed for 2,517 yards and 28 TDs as a senior and rushed for 482 yards and 11 TDs. He helped lead Columbus East to the Indiana state 4A semifinals as a senior and was named the Gatorade Indiana Player of the Year. Kiel passed for 7,175 yards in his high school career.
Kiel isn't the only new addition to the Irish just two weeks before signing day. Warren Central defensive lineman Sheldon Day and Fresno, CA defensive back Tee Shepard are both enrolled in classes early as well. Running back Amir Carlisle has also transferred from USC.