Kiel or Winston for the Tide

One of the biggest questions surrounding Alabama's 2012 recruiting class is which five-star quarterback will decide to spend their college career in Tuscaloosa. Tide fans are tuning in this summer to learn if Gunner Kiel or Jameis Winston is their future signal caller.


A year ago fans were feeling confident of Hueytown's Jameis Winston signing with the University of Alabama or lose him to MLB Draft. The two-sport elite athlete is an Alabama fan and has been on the Tide's campus numerous times. He and his family have a special relationship with Alabama coach Sal Sunseri.

Winston also has a great relationship with Alabama head coach Nick Saban and offensive coordinator Jim McElwain. He knows all the coaches and has a relationship with several Tide players.

Winston plans to announce shortly following the Elite 11 later this month. The recruiting efforts of Florida State quarterback coach Dameyune Craig and LSU offensive coordinator Steve Kragthorpe have mixed it up a little more than expected during the recruiting process. Florida State appears the biggest threat to the Tide for his signature.

Baseball remains a factor, MLB or playing two sports while in college. He might decide a college choice this summer and sign with a school of his choice in February, but next summer all may go away if he decides to go straight to MLB.

The University of Alabama became a serious contender for the nation's top quarterback in the spring after more than one unofficial visit to Tuscaloosa. Gunner Kiel set an announcement date of June 12, and all signs were pointing towards the Crimson Tide. He had visited Alabama following the April 27 tornados.

"It was good," Kiel told Scout.com about the visit. "I felt really bad for them with everything that happened with the tornado, but other than that, it's a great campus. They've got everything down there, and I like Coach Mac and the coaches there a lot, and I got to know some of the guys, especially the players and had a great visit."

The announcement date was pushed back after Kiel took an unofficial visit to Oklahoma. He visited Tuscaloosa again a week later with his father. This was the second trip for Kiel in less than a month to Alabama.

Several schools are in the mix including Alabama and Oklahoma who most think one of the two will ultimately win his signature. Michigan has not gone away, and the home-state school of Indiana has gained a lot of steam these past few weeks. Bloomington is 50 miles from his home compared to Alabama (534) and Norman (762).

Indiana has a new head coach in Kevin Wilson who was previously the offensive coordinator at Oklahoma. He coached Sam Bradford and has also won the Broyles Award as the nation's top assistant coach. Kiel's brother, Dusty Kiel, is a quarterback for the Hoosiers. These are all important factors which have made Indiana a serious contender.

Kiel could make a decision by the end of this week. Message boards are already lighting up at these schools anticipating an announcement.

The University of Alabama does have other quarterbacks on their recruiting board with the expectations of signing two in this year's class. The other options have been discussed, but all eyes are focused on these top candidates with an announcement expected from both in the coming days.

Kiel and Winston might end up signing with other programs with the Tide swinging and missing on both. It's not expected, but it's sure not out of the relam of possibility.


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