It looks like Gunner Kiel will be Irish after all.
The nation's No. 2 recruit and top quarterback committed to LSU shortly after Christmas, but has spurned the Tigers at the 11th hour, enrolling at Notre Dame.
"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 the school's release. "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.
"Coach Kelly was great throughout my recruitment, as many times our conversations had nothing do with football. 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."Kiel, who graduated from Columbus East (Columbus, Ind.) in January, was set to begin classes at LSU when the semester began on Tuesday.
However, rumors began to swirl on Monday that the 6-foot-4, 215-pound signal caller had not traveled to Baton Rouge and may have been wavering on his commitment to LSU.
This marks the second time Kiel has backed off a verbal commitment; he reneged on an earlier pledge to attend Indiana University.
His commitment gives Notre Dame help at a position in which it's sorely needed. It also takes away some of the sting of losing Ron Darby (uncommitted) and Taylor Decker (Ohio State) in recent days.
Jeremy Liggins, a dual-threat quarterback from Mississippi, could now emerge as a top target for LSU, which is also thin at quarterback.
Notre Dame is waiting to receive word on possibly landing Pleasant Grove (Elk Grove, Calif.) star Arik Armstead, who's expected to make his decision today.
According to LSU RapidReporter Glenn Guilbeau, Kiel's mother is the biggest reason why the quarterback is in South Bend instead of Baton Rouge.