Notre Dame Football

Notre Dame Football: Why Gunner Kiel Is Making a Mistake by Transferring

Apr. 21, 2012; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Gunner Kiel (5) throws in the fourth quarter of the spring game at Notre Dame Stadium. Kiel wore the number five jersey in honor of his uncle and former Notre Dame quarterback Blair Kiel who died on April 8, 2012. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
Emily O'Neill ElmerCorrespondent IIMarch 8, 2013

Rumors have been flying since yesterday that Notre Dame's redshirt freshman quarterback and former 5-star recruit Gunner Kiel intends to transfer. 

The rumors started on Irish Sports Daily and ESPN, both of which claimed to have sources confirming Kiel's intent to transfer. Nothing has been officially confirmed or denied by the university, and Kiel himself has also been mute. If you ascribe to the school of thought that a lack of denial is a passive admission of truth, then Kiel's silence is a telling sign that these rumors are true. 

Here are a few reasons Kiel is making a mistake.

 

1. Appeal 

Let's face it—Kiel already has a reputation for being indecisive. First he was committed to Indiana University, then there was his debacle with LSU. Now he wants to transfer from Notre Dame after one year? That doesn't exactly scream reliability. This certainly diminishes his appeal to potential transfer schools. 

 

2. Skill

I want to preface what I'm about to say with a clear statement that I am a fan of Everett Golson, but he certainly had room to improve last season. Kiel transferring is basically admitting defeat and a de facto acknowledgment that Golson is better than he is. 

Before anyone goes rushing to the comments to blame Brian Kelly, I want to point out that he has always had an open competition for the quarterback spot. If Kiel couldn't win the confidence of his head coach, it was most likely due to his performance on the gridiron and not some bizarre prejudice against the young QB as I have seen suggested by a few readers. 

 

3. Eligibility

By transferring (if it's to an FBS school) Kiel will sit out another season. That means he will have spent two years roaming the sidelines before he sees his first snap. Two years is a long time. 

 

4. Where's he going to go?

Here is the biggest reason why I think Kiel shouldn't transfer: What school is going to take him?

Yes, he has a good high school reel, but that was over a year ago. And let's be real—what has he done since? Last year, he had a poor showing in the spring game, and now he's going to turn tail and run before he even plays in this year's game? 

I don't mean to be too hard on the kid, but he really needs to think this through. He's losing eligibility for another year, and I guarantee he's not going to another school with a title shot.

Everyone has to pay their dues in life, and if Kiel can't handle being in Golson's shadow till he can prove he deserves the starting spot, then maybe he's better off at a smaller school where he will be the unchallenged star of the team.

When you reach the top level of any pursuit in life—from football all the way to used car sales—there is competition and rejection. And if this kid can't handle it, he may want to rethink playing at the Division I level. 

My advice to him is simple: sit back, pay your dues and elevate your game. Earn your starting spot, don't just switch schools till you find one that hands it to you on a silver platter. Just look at Joe Montana. He was third on the depth chart at the start of his junior year, and things turned out ok for him. 

*All star rankings referenced from Rivals.com 

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