Gunner Kiel to LSU: Why Zach Mettenberger Is a Lock to Start in 2012

Johnathan CaceCorrespondent IDecember 28, 2011

KNOXVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 15:  Zach Mettenberger #8 of the LSU Tigers against the Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium on October 15, 2011 in Knoxville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Gunner Kiel finally ended his recruitment on Tuesday when he announced he would play his college football at LSU.

As the top pro-style quarterback, he obviously has high expectations for his play from within, as well as from the Tiger faithful.

But he will have to wait his turn behind Zach Mettenberger to show what he’s all about. The third-string quarterback behind Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee was highly-touted coming out of high school, albeit not as much as Kiel. He originally signed with Georgia, but opted to transfer to LSU.

Coaches and fans alike have been raving about Mettenberger since he set foot on campus, and many people believe he will be more successful than either Lee or Jefferson. He has all of the physical tools at 6’5” and 250 pounds and is anxiously waiting his turn in line.

Obviously, Kiel will provide some more competition, but unless he is the next Matt Barkley, who was the best player coming out of California—Kiel is the top prospect out of Indiana. Read into that what you will—he won’t be starting.

If the guy he was competing against was a fellow freshman or sophomore, that wouldn’t be an issue. But Mettenberger specifically transferred to LSU to play. Les Miles is not dumb enough to not play him at the risk of losing out on future transfers who would see this as a sign of bad faith between coach and player.

Additionally, Kiel also has to beat out 4-star dual-threat quarterback Jerrard Randall, who signed with the Tigers last year.

He may be good, he may even be great, but Gunner Kiel will be sitting behind Zach Mettenberger on the depth chart until he proves it on the field.