Les Miles still doesn’t have many kind words for Gunner Kiel

Dr. Saturday

It's been nearly three months since quarterback Gunner Kiel spurned LSU and signed early with Notre Dame and coach Les Miles just can't seem to get past it.

Back in February, while speaking to a group of boosters after signing day, Miles had some not-so-flattering words for Kiel, saying that he didn't "necessarily have the chest and ability to lead a program."

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In an interview with CBSsports.com's Dennis Dodd that was published Friday, Miles threw some backhanded compliments at Kiel, one of the nation's top incoming freshmen.

"I'm not bitter. I'm glad he stayed there. I really mean it. Here's the truth: If you don't have some swagger to you and you can step into this stadium and be able to know the advantage that you're playing with the Tigers and you're leading the program that has some real weight and clout, then you really need to stay home with your brothers.

"I don't mean that [negatively]. I'm for him. He gets a chance to come in here and compete and start on a team that is a great team. I really meant what I said. I was talking more about the confidence and swagger. I was not demeaning. If he shows up, it means he has all those things."

[ Video: Les Miles mocks Gunner Kiel's 'chest and ability to lead a program' ]

Miles did a nice job of talking in circles about Kiel, giving him compliments that weren't exactly compliments, and making sure everyone knows that he's not trying to be negative toward Kiel, but he's not really being positive either.

Kiel didn't choose LSU so stop talking about him. He's in a tight spring quarterbacking battle at Notre Dame, has a great chance to be a starter there and, as of right now, the two teams have no plans to cross paths.

[ Huguenin: Upcoming meeting will determine future of college football's postseason ]

Kiel saw an opportunity to stay home and potentially start. And with the way Miles is hyping up Zach Mettenberger as his new quarterback, Kiel probably made the right decision.

"The guy we got now [Mettenberger], he's a confident son of a buck," Miles told Dodd. "He's a throwin', tough kid. If he continues to develop and learn and grow as a leader, no question."

Kiel has the potential to be a great quarterback and he's a big recruit LSU couldn't close. That probably doesn't happen very often, especially at the 11th hour, which is why Miles continues to entertain questions about him. But as spring football wraps up and teams start looking ahead to the fall, it's time to let it go.

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