'09 Introduction: Dusty Kiel

Columbus (Ind.) East's Dusty Kiel is the latest in a long line of standout quarterbacks from the family who have Division I potential. Dusty was recently in Bloomington for IU's Junior Day...

Bloomington, Ind. – Drew Kiel's family passing records aren't lasting long.

The current Illinois State quarterback is just a year and a half removed from starring at Columbus (Ind.) East H.S., the same school where his father, Kip, and both of his uncles (including former Notre Dame and Indianapolis Colts quarterback Blair Kiel) starred. But now his younger brother, Dusty, is doing a number on everyone's numbers.

In his first season as a starter, 6'3", 220-pound Dusty Kiel completed 158-of-262 passes for 2,591 yards and a school-record 33 touchdowns to eclipse Drew's school record touchdown mark set in 2006. With another year under center remaining, Dusty figures to shatter his older brother's marks of 4,765 career passing yards and 45 touchdown throws as well.

Dusty's managed to do it while dealing with the spotlight that comes with the last of Kiel in Columbus, Ind.

"He handles (the attention) well," said Columbus East Coach Bob Gaddis, whose team went 11-2 and advanced to the regional final in the fall. "Everyone in his family before him who played here was very successful.

"Now he's gotten his chance to step in and be the quarterback, and he was very relaxed and a great competitor. He probably has as much knowledge as any high school quarterback I've been around."

Kiel has also turned his undivided attention toward becoming an even better signal caller. While he started in baseball as a true freshman and is also a solid basketball player, Kiel has passed on going out for either sport so he can focus on football.

"He's about as dedicated as you'd ever want to see as far as football," Gaddis said. "He works on speed development, strength development, throwing the ball, he goes to all the combines."

That focus – coupled with those skills – figures to make Kiel one of the more heavily recruited quarterbacks in the state in the '09 class. Indiana has taken notice, having welcomed him to Bloomington for its Junior Day earlier this month.

The Hoosier staff hasn't offered a scholarship, but Gaddis said they've made it clear they're keeping an eye on his standout.

"They haven't offered, but Coach (Bill) Lynch came by to make a personal visit to me to let me know they were interested in Dusty and (wide receiver) Duwyce (Wilson).

"I don't know exactly where he sits on their board, but I think Dusty is a D-I quarterback someplace. I think he's that good. He brings a lot to the table."

Kiel brings not only a proven pedigree and dedication to his craft, but the sort of size that's uncommon for a 17-year-old.

"The other thing about Dusty is he could be a great linebacker," said Gaddis. "As a sophomore he played our strong safety and was a really good player. If you watched him walk in the room, you'd think he'd be a linebacker candidate. He's a big guy."

While he might look the part of a defensive standout, it's at quarterback where he now stars for Columbus East, and where he figures to shatter just about all of the Columbus East's career passing records.

How long those marks will stand, though, is in question since there's another Kiel coming. Dusty's younger brother, Gunner, will be a freshman next fall and could be the heir apparent to replace him in the fall of 2009.

"In that family, they train quarterbacks," Gaddis.

Record-breaking ones at that.

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