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Gunner Kiel Commits to LSU
Top quarterback prospect Gunner Kiel committed to our LSU Tigers on Dec. 27. Kiel is LSU's 22nd commitment of the Class of 2012. Kiel has already graduated high school in Indiana and will enroll at LSU in the spring.
Kiel picked LSU over Notre Dame and SEC East foe Vanderbilt. Kiel said about his decision, "When I went to Louisiana, it was just awesome. Friday I woke up and told my parents, 'I'm ready to commit. I want to go to LSU, and this is the best place for me.'" Kiel previously had committed to Indiana on July 27, but had reopened his recruitment by Oct. 21. He made an official visit to LSU after taking in the Tigers' win over Arkansas on Nov. 25. About the LSU visit, Kiel said "Baton Rouge is a special place. It was the perfect fit for me, and I can't wait to enroll and be a part of the team and university."
During his senior year at East High School in Columbus, Indiana, Kiel threw for 2,517 yards, 28 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. He also ran for 482 yards and 11 touchdowns. He is listed at 6-3, 215 pounds and has been described as a pro-style quarterback. However, he can move around from the tape I've seen, including running some zone read plays. Even if LSU doesn't do much with those kinds of plays for him, Kiel possesses enough mobility to make teams honest in preparing against him. By all accounts, he is a student of the game and can read a defense. There are knocks on the level of competition he faced in high school but that shouldn't count against his potential.
Our Tigers will be replacing two experienced senior quarterbacks next year as Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee will be gone after this season's BCS national championship game against Alabama. JUCO-transfer Zach Mettenberger should be considered the early favorite as a starter, but he has seen few snaps this season. Freshmen quarterbacks Stephen Rivers and Jerrard Randall redshirted this season. I'm looking forward to the upcoming quarterback derby during the spring but I doubt Kiel will win it. Luckily for LSU, he won't have to.
As an LSU fan, I'm glad to see the coaches being proactive in stacking the deck at the quarterback position to try to avoid having a green starter like we had in 2008.
More from Patrick Johnston:
Jim Kleinpeter, "LSU Tigers land highly touted quarterback Gunner Kiel of Indiana", NOLA.com
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