A potentially successful 2013-14 campaign for Notre Dame has turned into a potentially devastating one.
After news came out on Saturday that promising 2012 starter Everett Golson was no longer enrolled at Notre Dame, former top recruit Gunner Kiel—who transferred from Notre Dame to Cincinnati in April— has declared, "I'm a Bearcat," according to Tom Groeschen of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
There was hope in South Bend that Kiel would reconsider his transfer from Notre Dame after the news about Golson. By remaining at Cincinnati, he's required to miss a season. If he returns to Notre Dame, he will have the opportunity to grab the starting spot and start this coming season.
But, apparently, Kiel is content to stay at Cincinnati. According to Bearcats coach Tommy Tuberville, "He's really enjoying it here," per the Cincinnati Enquirer report.
At Notre Dame, Kiel has the opportunity to contend for a BCS bowl, or at least be in the discussion. At Cincinnati, he doesn't.
I understand that the youngster may have found a home with the Bearcats. I understand that he may have found some stability in Cincinnati. But, the fact of the matter is, when you have the chance to start for a program coming off a trip to the national championship game, you shouldn't even hesitate.
Should Gunner Kiel return to Notre Dame?
Golson's departure from the Notre Dame program opened up a door for Kiel, the No. 1 quarterback and No. 24 overall recruit in the 2012 class, according to 247Sports.com. It should be viewed as a gift for the 19-year-old.
Kiel may have built somewhat of a rapport with the Cincinnati program so far, but I can assure you, if he returned to Notre Dame, the coaching staff would be putting him on a pedestal. His value would be undeniable after Golson's departure.
Sometimes life can work in mysterious ways. But the biggest mystery in this scenario is Kiel's reluctance to return to the Fighting Irish. Some people would kill to step in and lead a storied program such as Notre Dame.