Monday, July 25, 2011
The Read on Gunner Kiel
I started what seemed like a wildfire in speaking on Twitter yesterday regarding the recruitment of Indiana High School star QB Gunner Kiel. Let me be as clear as I can possibly be. I do not know him. I have never met him. What I do is I analyze information that is freely available to anyone else in the world, and I give my honest hypothesis on what it all means by breaking things down logically. Here is what I have been able to decipher from the information that I have received.
In recent weeks, Kiel has become enamored with the idea of playing for new Indiana Head Coach Kevin Wilson. Kiel's older brother, Dusty, will start at QB for the Hoosiers this season, barring any issues in fall camp, like injury, or the wheels just completely falling off of his mental wagon. According to ESPN, Kiel has stated that he will not sign with a school that already has a QB signed for their 2012 recruiting class. Essentially, Oklahoma is out, despite his interest in OU OC Josh Heupel and his skill at developing QBs. OU has recently signed Trevor Knight, who had formerly been tied in with Texas A&M.
Also on the list is Alabama, Missouri, Indiana, Tennessee, Michigan, and Notre Dame. He has n ties to Missouri, Tennessee, or Michigan. Alabama was thought to be the extreme frontrunner, at least by folks in Tuscaloosa. They are certainly disturbed by information that has leaked to media sources this week stating that Kiel is very likely leaning towards Indiana. His ties to the program are strong with his brother starting at QB, and he has become friends with several members of the team. He will be seen at many IU football games this fall, and his ties will only grow stronger.
Another factor playing into this situation, is that Kiel has an aversion to the spotlight. He is not a big scene stealing guy, and he does not like a ton of attention being cast on him, according to several media outlets. He rarely gives interviews, rarely speaks out in public about his recruiting process. Alabama is a fish bowl, as are most of the other schools on his list. He can fly under the radar at IU, a building program, where he won't have to be a media superstar to succeed.
In closing, when you read into the situation, figure out his personality, figure out his ties (he has them with Notre Dame and Illinois State as well), and get to know the Indiana culture and importance of staying home and representing your state, the only choice that makes sense, and one that has been reported as possibly close to happening, is for Kiel to choose Indiana. This would be considered by some to be a huge upset by some, not by me.
The offense at IU fits better if you are a high profile QB. Alabama focuses on run first. IU will pass like crazy while still using a strong run game to compliment the pass. That fits a strong armed home grown kid who wants to succeed, and under Kevin Wilson, IU will indeed succeed.
I predict that within the next 2 weeks, Kiel will choose Indiana.