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Irish Insights

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Kiel dives right in

Gunner Kiel is trying not to waste any time at Notre Dame.

The country's top quarterback prospect out of high school enrolled early and is part of the Irish's quarterback derby in spring practice.

"Whatever we do in meetings, I try to take in as much in as possible," Kiel said. "And I try to talk to as many guys as possible about what I'm supposed to do, and what's going to happen here and keep working hard."

The 6-foot-4, 210-pound Columbus East product is so enthusiastic about competing for the starting job that his coaches have to get him to dial it back at times.

"He's asking about, 'What time is film study?'" coach Brian Kelly said. "I'm like, 'Listen, we're on a 20-hour rule. So everything's voluntary.' He goes, 'Oh, I'll be here.' So you can tell early on this is a guy that's going to spend the time on watching film, doing those things necessary."

Kiel is competing with Tommy Rees, who started 12 of 13 games last season, Andrew Hendrix, who played in five games last season, and Everett Golson, who spent last season as the scout team quarterback after enrolling early.

Kelly said he has all of the quarterbacks starting on the first page of the playbook to give each one an equal chance to make their case to be the starter.

"Coach Kelly's like, 'Hey, if we give you the whole playbook you're going to be useless all spring. Let's give you things you can do every day and be successful, and keep growing within the package,'" offensive coordinator Chuck Martin said. "So far, so good with him."

Kiel ran a version of the spread offense in high school, but he said it is very different at Notre Dame.

"Being in the spread helped, but there is so much new stuff I have to learn and process. It's going to take time," Kiel said.

"The speed of the game is 10 times faster. The guys are a lot better. It's a lot different. It's gone pretty well. I'm starting to get into it and getting into a routine."

Kiel is also learning what it is like to play for a coach with the intensity of Kelly. He has received advice on how to handle it when Kelly is delivering instruction in a loud manner.

"They've told me Coach Kelly will yell at you and get in your ear and all of that stuff. You just have to keep working hard and keep doing the little things and shake it off," Kiel said.

"I don't think I've gotten the full red-face look yet. He isn't really yelling, he's coaching more. Whenever he yells it's for a reason. You know you've done something wrong. He's just there to help you.

"He's a really good coach, and I feel honored to play for him."

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