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File | Associated Press
In this 2010, file photo, then-Columbus East quarterback Gunner Kiel looks to pass during a high school football game against Jennings County in Columbus, Ind.

Kiel's first day

Quarterback Gunner Kiel's first practice for Notre Dame pleased coach Brian Kelly.

"He's a very talented young man," Kelly said after spring practice began Wednesday. "He wasn't rated that way because he was not. He's extremely talented. He has something that the other three quarterbacks don't have, and that's 6-foot-4. When you've got that size, it allows you to see some things.

"For him, it's just understanding the language right now. That's a bit overwhelming for him. But when we can get him comfortable, he's got all the tools. Now it's just going to be how much can he learn to get him to the point where he can really be in there."

The 6-foot-4, 210-pound early enrollee has also impressed his coach with his work ethic.

"He is asking about what time is film study, and we are like, 'Listen, we are in the 20-hour rule. Everything is voluntary.' He goes, 'Oh, I'll be here,' " Kelly said. "You can tell early on this is a guy who is going to spend the time on watching film and doing those things necessary."

Kiel will have to deal with plenty of scrutiny at Notre Dame.

He came in as the No. 1 pro-style quarterback recruit, and he had an interesting recruiting process.

Kiel originally committed to Indiana, but he switched to LSU. Then the day before he was set to enroll at LSU, Kiel had another change of heart and instead decided to attend Notre Dame.

Irish linebacker Manti Te'o, who was the No. 1 defensive prospect coming out of high school, said Kiel has handled the attention well so far.

"He's doing a great job," Te'o said. "He's mature for his age. He looks like he's been there before. It was his first practice (Wednesday), he did pretty well. It's going to become a true test when the season hits and there is 80,000 people screaming. It looks like he will do well under the pressure, and we are always here to help him. He will do fine."

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