How did we get here?
Let's revisit the events that have already taken place since March of 2010 when Kiel first appeared on the pages of Scout.com.
March 2010: Kiel already holds three offers with Indiana, Purdue, and Iowa jumping on board early. Born into a family of quarterbacks, Kiel is just starting to show signs of being one of the top prospects in the class of 2012.
April 2010: Kiel takes his talents to the campus of Ohio State for the Elite 11 tryout. It is here Kiel starts to put some space between him and fellow 2012 prospect Zeke Pike. The pair competed together in a 7x7 event the prior month. However, Kiel showed better in the drills during the Elite 11 pushing him in front of the future Auburn pledge.
June 2010: Cincinnati and Tennessee add their names to his growing offer list and Notre Dame gets a firsthand look at one of its top targets in the 2012 class as Kiel visits the Irish for camp and has an impressive showing. Following camp the Irish express the desire to recruit Kiel in the coming future and Kiel tells Irish Eyes he's looking for the following.
"I love to throw the ball. But I want to go somewhere I can get the best education and really don't care what offense they run. As long as we're winning game I'm fine, because it's all about the team and not about the individuals."
August 2010: Kiel starts his junior season off with an impressive showing going 10 for 12 for 306 yards and five touchdowns.
December 2010: As college programs start hitting the recruiting trail the traffic to Columbus East High School is major. While Kiel is excited about the interest being shown, he tells Scout.com the following. "Right now, I'm not really at a point of making favorites. I don't have top school yet. I'm still really open to everyone."
January 2011: Michigan State offers Kiel but now talk is of Missouri being high on the list of schools. This is the first time Kiel and another Irish target Maty Mauk start crossing paths. Before the month would end, Kiel would also add offers from Michigan, TCU, and Oklahoma.
February 2011: Notre Dame gets on board with an offer and now the Irish have their sights set on signing Kiel or Mauk in the class. Before the month ends Florida, LSU, Illinois, Northwestern, Stanford and USC all offer.
May 2011: Despite having visited Oklahoma, Tennessee, Alabama, Michigan, Missouri, and Notre Dame, Kiel is still open and holds no favorites. The Elite 11 returns to the campus of Ohio State and Kiel comes and walks away as the top quarterback by Scout.com with a better physical build and stronger arm than he showed the year before.
June 2011: With his senior season fast approaching, Kiel is starting to focus on making his college decision. Talk of a verbal pledge coming during a quarterback camp is expressed by his high school coach. Visits to Oklahoma and Alabama are set with many feeling the two teams are at the front of the pack. Pressure is mounting for Kiel as college programs start to apply some pressure for a verbal pledge. Notre Dame is one of these programs as they want to get a quarterback in the class or move on to recruiting another position. Kiel is not the only one given a deadline by the Irish as Maty Mauk is also told it's time to make a decision. Both players will soon make their choices known.
July 2011: Kiel heads to California for the Elite 11 finals and has no problem impressing those in attendance with his skill set. It is here that talk of a verbal starts to surface with a big surprise coming at the end when Kiel gives Indiana his verbal pledge leaving Notre Dame without a quarterback option in the 2012 class as Mauk had given Missouri his verbal pledge early in the month.
August 2011: Starting off his senior season Kiel is on target going 14 for 24 and 399 yards and two touchdowns.
October 2011: Kiel is named to the Army All-American team and will play in the 2012 U.S. Army All-American Bowl on January, 7, 2012, at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. Before the month is over Notre Dame is back in the races as Kiel opens up his recruitment and starts looking at Alabama, LSU, Florida, and the Irish as possible destinations.
November 2011: The guessing game begins as scouting services across the country are hitting Kiel's phone hard and making predictions on where he and other top targets will land. Many have Kiel favoring the Irish as they believe distance from home will be the deciding factor. The family is now focused on making a few visits and four schools move to the front as Vanderbilt, LSU, Arkansas, and Notre Dame all look to be in the running. However, the month would end with Kiel still not pledge to any program.
December 2011: It's not often a major prospect like Kiel makes a college pledge on Christmas. However, rumors hit the internet that the time had come and to not be surprised if it happened on Christmas Day or the day after. Vanderbilt, LSU, and Notre Dame all seem to be the schools that made the final cut.
Who will get Gunner Kiel?
December 26, 2011: The rumor boards are heating up and the early talk is LSU will get the verbal pledge of Kiel as early as tonight (Monday). However, if we've all learned anything about the recruiting process when it comes to Kiel, always remember, until Gunner makes the call it's anyone's guess.