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Gunner Kiel opens recruitment, will visit Notre Dame.

Brian Kelly and Notre Dame are in the mix for Gunner Kiel.
Brian Kelly and Notre Dame are in the mix for Gunner Kiel.

This has been rumored for a while, but it doesn't make it any less disappointing.  Gunner Kiel, the five star QB recruit from Columbus, Indiana and the top pro style QB in the country according to various services, will reopen his recruitment.  Blue & Gold Illustrated reports that he will visit Notre Dame for tomorrow's ND-USC game. 

I hope, of course, that when the process is complete Gunner decides to enroll at IU in January 2012.  On the other hand, if you are looking for a bunch of moralizing about broken promises, then you're in the wrong place.  For all of his football talents, Gunner Kiel is a high school senior deciding where to spend the next few years of his life.  That is an intensely personal decision and one that should not be made lightly.  Of course, a verbal commitment should not be extended without careful consideration.  It's better when a player is certain when he makes the commitment.  On the other hand, I think it's much more important that Gunner or any other player be confident in his college choice.  In that sense, it's comparable to breaking an engagement.  It's better to avoid the situation if possible, but the alternative (marrying someone halfheartedly) is worse than the broken promise.

I'm not shocked to see Notre Dame in the mix.  Before Gunner committed, I noted the family connection (his uncle, Blair Kiel, started for ND for four years in the late 70s and early 80s) and that ND did not have a quarterback in the class.  I don't know if the latter is still true. 

I imagine that the Hoosiers' poor performance has highlighted just how substantial a rebuilding project IU is going to be.  On the other hand, I'm not sure it's that much more of a leap of faith now than it was three months ago considering the quality of the other programs he has considered.  I hope to see Gunner in crimson next year, but I certainly understand why he may be reconsidering.