10 Teams Wishing Gunner Kiel Would Transfer from Notre Dame

Randy ChambersAnalyst IMarch 4, 2013

10 Teams Wishing Gunner Kiel Would Transfer from Notre Dame

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    Gunner Kiel was considered by many to be the top quarterback of the 2012 class and could be starting for many teams across the country this very second. Instead, he is considered the backup in a logjam at the position for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, as Everett Golson is the guy who is receiving all of the accolades as the starter.

    What does the future hold for this promising prospect?

    Well, Kiel did admit to Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun Times that the thought of transferring does cross his mind. Also, with the possibility of spending yet another season on the bench, transferring could go from being just a thought to a reality in a hurry. This is something that the coaching staff and Irish fans should prepare themselves for as nobody with this much talent wants to continuously ride the bench.

    The impact of Kiel transferring would affect many teams throughout college football. Here are some of the teams that would be the happiest to hear him go through with a transfer from South Bend.


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    If Kiel were to announce that he was considering a transfer right this second, Indiana is a team that would have to be jumping for joy. Not the sexiest football school of choice, but the Hoosiers do have a few things to offer the young man.

    For one, this was the school that Kiel originally committed to before throwing a monkey wrench in everything and eventually ending up in South Bend. This also happens to be the home school, which always gives a program a chance, considering he is from Columbus, Indiana. Also, the Hoosiers do have family ties with his brother Dusty Kiel playing for the program at one point.

    Indiana has not won a bowl game since 1991 and will continue to look to take baby steps under head coach Kevin Wilson. However, if Kiel was willing to commit to the school once, you can't exactly be quick to rule out a possible return.

    A transfer would give the Hoosiers their best shot to reach a bowl game for the first time since 2007.


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    Although Michigan was one of the many schools that offered Kiel a scholarship back in 2012, a transfer to Ann Arbor wouldn't be in the cards. However, Michigan fans would still be thrilled to see this kid leave for somewhere else.


    Well, Michigan does have to take a trip to Notre Dame Stadium in 2014. In an intense rivalry that has been decided by one possession in each of the last four games, it isn't far-fetched to believe Kiel could be the starting quarterback for the Irish if he were to stay. This isn't to say that Kiel leaving would make this game any easier for the Wolverines, but it would put a dent in the quarterback depth, raising more questions for the opponent.

    Brady Hoke's team is currently set at the position with Devin Gardner taking over and Shane Morris waiting in the shadows. A transfer for Kiel may end up playing a significant role when these two teams meet up in a little more than a year from now.

West Virginia

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    West Virginia went from having one of the most explosive offenses in the country to falling off the face of the earth. Now, thanks to graduation and the NFL draft, the entire offense has been gutted, including the quarterback position.

    There won't be many familiar faces on this Mountaineers team offensively and that has to trouble an offensive guru like Dana Holgorsen. Due to his incredible ability to coach the offensive side of the ball, he will still likely find answers, but every coach would prefer elite talent leading the way.

    Some may not consider Kiel much of a dual-threat quarterback to run this West Virginia offense effectively. However, in last year’s spring game, he did show that he can make plays with his legs when he has to, similar to what Geno Smith was able to do throughout his career. Kiel would put up video game numbers in this offense and would be a nice option for the Mountaineers to remain competitive in the Big 12.

    This is a move that would be great for West Virginia fans, and would likely scare the rest of college football.


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    You can't talk about an elite quarterback prospect and not mention USC. The school that has likely had the most success of any other school at the position could certainly use the depth right about now.

    With spring practice set to kickoff, the only guy Trojans fans are completely confident in is Max Browne. The problem is that he is a true freshman and even with the rave reviews he has received, nothing is quite guaranteed when making that transition from high school to college. This is why Kiel would be a nice fit on the West Coast, giving the Trojans a security blanket and providing himself with a chance to fall in line with a bunch of USC greats.

    But even if this move is a pipe dream for USC fans, much like Michigan, I'm sure this program would be happy just to see Notre Dame lose a quality player. USC plays the Irish every season at the end of the year and the more talent Notre Dame loses on the depth chart, the more likely USC will continue to take over the rivalry between these two powerhouses.

    Regardless of where Kiel ends up, it is a victory for the Trojans.


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    Much like USC, Oklahoma has also had its fair share of success with quarterbacks over the years. In fact, this upcoming season will be the first time in a while in which the Sooners will have a question mark at the position.

    Blake Bell has proven he can carry the load as an oversized running back, but he has yet to show he can consistently make plays in the passing game. He's thrown the ball only 20 times in his career and hasn't provided enough to feel comfortable at the position, especially in a conference that relies heavily on the air attack.

    Kiel would help keep the tradition going of great quarterbacks who have played in Norman. In fact, he was actually recruited by Oklahoma's Josh Heupel during the 2012 recruiting process and would likely thrive under the current coaching staff that is in place.

    There is a great chance you will end up being a first-round pick if you suit up for Oklahoma at the quarterback position. This is a school that would have a solid chance at landing the talented signal-caller if he was willing to leap.


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    Tennessee has fallen off the map with missing the bowl season the last two years and not winning a bowl game since 2007, but let's not act like everything is lost for the Volunteers. They still produce elite NFL talent and have a tradition that very few can compete against.

    With a new head coach in Butch Jones, it appears that things are slowly turning around. That's not me just talking; a solid 2013 recruiting class indicates that progress is being made as well.

    Now the team just needs a quarterback to lead the way.

    Kiel would probably be the most talented signal-caller this school has seen since Peyton Manning. He would be given the keys to the offense and expected to get Rocky Top back on top rather quickly. There aren't many SEC schools that you could just step on campus and lockup a starting role, but the cards are lined up for Kiel if this was the place he ended up.

    The Volunteers would be a school to watch out for if this marriage was to take place.


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    Wisconsin has become the popular school of choice for transfer quarterbacks. We saw Russell Wilson light things up for the Badgers a couple of years ago. Danny O'Brien also decided he was going to take the same route, but things didn't end nearly the same way as they did for current Seattle Seahawks player.

    Why not Kiel?

    The Badgers were ranked dead last in the Big Ten last season in passing yards per game. While they will always remain a run-first team, we have seen how explosive this offense can be when a quarterback is able to provide a little balance to the equation. Kiel could step in and be the guy to give this team a boost the same way Wilson did back in 2011.

    Kiel would give the Badgers a puncher's shot to win the Big Ten, a conference that isn't exactly rich with quarterback talent, and instantly become one of the better options in the conference at the position.

Florida State

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    Florida State fans have spent the last two seasons wondering what would have happened if the team actually had a reliable quarterback. EJ Manuel was as inconsistent as they come and he never really reached his full potential, often making bad decisions and costing the Seminoles games.

    Right now there is potential at quarterback for Florida State. Guys such as Jameis Winston, Jacob Coker and Clint Trickett could develop into that quarterback that gets the Seminoles over the hump. However, potential and a few bucks buy me a couple things off the McDonald's value menu.

    Realistically, this is a team that should be consistently competing for national titles, especially in the watered down ACC. The defensive play is there and there are more than enough playmakers on the offensive side of the ball to keep a quarterback happy.

    Florida State just needs to find that quarterback to lead this program to the promised land. Kiel could be the one to do it if he decided he wanted to leave South Bend.

Washington State

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    A quarterback’s dream is for a head coach to completely believe in him and allow him to do whatever he wants within the offense. With that said, is there any other coach a quarterback would want to play more for than Mike Leach?

    Last season Washington State finished the year with 349 rushing yards. Notre Dame had more rushing yards (376) than that in last year’s meeting against the Miami Hurricanes. There were a total of 624 passing attempts and the team only ran the ball 252 times.

    This is no fluke, as Leach runs a heavy pass-oriented offense that has helped change the game and put up video game numbers nearly everywhere he has coached. He rarely believes in running the football and he would absolutely thrive if he was to have an elite signal-caller leading the way in his Air Raid attack.

    Washington State may not have the same pull as some of these other programs, but with Leach running the show, I wouldn't rule out the Cougars as a possible landing spot.


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    Along with Indiana, LSU was the other school that Kiel had committed to before hopping on board with Notre Dame. After the quarterback announced he was going to give LSU the same treatment, head coach Les Miles went ahead and decided to bash the kid for the decision.

    This would usually end any potential relationship, but think about everything the school down in Baton Rouge has to offer.

    Kiel would easily be the best quarterback for the program since JaMarcus Russell. He would be thrown into the starting lineup immediately. He would have a chance to compete for a national championship every year on campus. Oh, and he also wouldn't have to carry the team on his back due to a powerful running game leading the way.

    I'm sure Miles would be willing to go the extra mile to make up for his childish ways if Kiel was to make a transfer.

    LSU is not only a school that makes sense for the current Notre Dame backup, but it would be a realistic possibility that these two were to cross paths yet again. It would also help put the school back on track to compete for another national title.