Kiel Feeling at Home

The journey taken by Gunner Kiel to Cincinnati is well documented as the former five-star and No. 1 quarterback has seen the media follow almost every step he's taken since the middle of his high school career. Now, Kiel feels he's found a place he can truly call home as a Bearcat.

Despite being a bystander this fall when Cincinnati takes the field, quarterback Gunner Kiel feels he's finally found the right fit to take his game to the level many have expected.

How are things as a member of the Bearcats?

"It's awesome and fantastic," said Kiel. "I mean, the guys and coaches are just like family. It's a tight group of guys and I couldn't be more thankful to finally be on a team where I feel comfortable and feel comfortable in the system. I feel more relaxed and confident in myself and can now just go out and play football."

While Kiel understood his transfer from Notre Dame would mean another year of standing on the sidelines, he feels this season will provide him another solid learning experience.

"It's going to be tough," he said. "But what is good is I have two senior quarterbacks in front of me to learn from and just watch. I also have Coach (Darin) Hinshaw to lean on too.

"I know they (coaching staff) are going to get me ready for the spring of next year so it's a learning process for me and I've got to take my time."

Considered by many as one of the top young quarterback coaches in the game of football, Kiel has enjoyed the process the former Central Florida signal caller coaches up his players.

"Coach Hinshaw is a great coach," he said. "What is great about Coach Hinshaw is he doesn't yell or raise his voice too often. He actually sits you down and coaches you and goes over what you missed, the bad things and the right things.

"He always wants the best from all of us and expects a lot from us, so we're going to give our all for him and he expects that from us."

As the top quarterback prospect in the Class of 2012, Kiel looking back knows the recruiting process got out of control and added much unneeded pressure.

"To be honest it really did get crazy," said Kiel. "All that pressure and people really expect a lot form you to perform and become a star as a freshman. You've just got to not think about it too often and just go out and play football and realize there are a hundred other quarterbacks just as good as you.

"So you have to go out and bust your butt and try and be the best you can be. If you've got to sit out a year and watch and be a back-up, you've got to watch and get better for when your time comes."

While many have speculated about the reasons Kiel left Notre Dame. He stresses it was not an easy decision and one that he feels will allow him to become a better player when all is said and done.

"It was pretty tough to leave Notre Dame," said Kiel. "The hardest thing for me was leaving the guys behind as I grew some really good friendships while I was there.

"But I had to do what was best for me and that was to leave and go somewhere I was going to play and get on the field.

"I learned a lot at Notre Dame. I learned to be patient and wait your turn and to understand that college and high school are completely different as the game is faster and there is a lot more verbiage. That first year for me was great because I learned a lot and I'm more experienced now and more confident in myself knowing I need to push myself to get better each day."

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