IE Breakdown: Gunner Kiel

After watching Gunner Kiel in camps, games and on film over the past three years we issue our overall breakdown of the Columbus (IN) East High School quarterback.

GENERAL BREAKDOWN

HT – WT – SPEED :Listed at 6-foot-4, 200-pounds, Gunner Kiel has the ideal physical size you want from a big-time quarterback. While not a speedster, Kiel is quick enough to escape pressure and extend the pocket, two things very important in Brian Kelly's offense.

QUICKNESS – AGILITY – BALANCE : During the course of his high school career Kiel has shown great body control and movement skills for a quarterback of his abilities. While not a dual threat quarterback, Kiel is quick enough to avoid taking a beating.

CHARACTER : With the amount of coverage given recruiting in today's world, Kiel and his family took a different approach to the coverage and tried to keep a low profile. Because of this some have questioned if he's got the makeup to handle the pressures of being under the spotlight at Notre Dame. Kiel will prove to be a positive influence in the locker room and on the field in the years to come. He's a good person who is stable and disciplined and not one who only thinks of himself.

DURABILITY : Quarterbacks in Kelly's offense will have to take a hit or two each game and with Kiel's physical size we expect him to be durable enough to take the normal hits and get back on his feet.

PRODUCTION : Kiel has his statistics and the fact he's proven to be able to raise the game of those around him. His production at the high school level hit on all the areas we look at as he's done it with his arm while in an offensive scheme set for him to excel in and by the performances of those around him.

ON THE FIELD

There are several areas on the field Kiel excels with the first being his ability to stretch the pocket while keeping his eyes down field looking for an open receiver. While not fast, Kiel is able to avoid a rush and escape to avoid pressure, something that has been missing in the Irish offense under Kelly. When forced to run Kiel is big enough to take a hit and capable of getting key yards with his legs. However, it is his ability to throw the football that made him the top quarterback prospect in the country and for good reasons. Kiel does a great job of setting up and getting in position to throw the ball and has a quick release. He's accurate with short, medium and long while throwing a ball with velocity and one that is catchable.

OVERALL

Some worry the on and off recruitment circus that surrounded Kiel shows a person who will struggle under the light of the Golden Dome. Don't worry, Kiel was never one who looked for the spotlight and chose to let his on field play do the talking. Can Kiel be the starter for Brian Kelly when the team opens up the season? Yes, but look for Kelly to make sure the top quarterback he's ever signed to be 100% ready to run the offense. Kelly has used much of his scholarship spots to build strong lines on both sides of the ball and help give depth in the defensive backfield. Kiel gives him the trigger man who can make all Irish fans' dreams come true.


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