Gunner Kiel is running out of shopping days to find a football home.
Widely regarded as one of the nation’s top one or two quarterback prospects, the Columbus (Ind.) East blue-chipper told the Indianapolis Star that he plans to choose between LSU, Notre Dame and Vanderbilt by Christmas.
He told a blogger for the paper that he wanted to make a decision Tuesday at the Columbus East-Columbus North boys basketball game, where he was presented with the Indianapolis Star’s Indiana Mr. Football trophy.
But, in a moment that no doubt will cause heartburn for LSU, Vandy and Notre Dame recruitniks, he admitted he simply “couldn’t make a decision.
“It’ll be a gut feeling,” said Kiel, who was once committed to Indiana before apparently realizing he was a top football, not basketball prospect. “It’s been a very hard decision.”
Apparently some of Kiel’s schoolmates would like to make the decision for him. The paper reported that Columbus East students chanted “LSU! LSU!” as he accepted the Mr. Football trophy.
Kiel attended LSU’s regular-season home finale against Arkansas on Nov. 25, then abruptly returned four days later for his official visit. He made subsequent official visits to Notre Dame and Vandy.
Kiel (6-foot-3, 215 pounds) threw for 2,517 yards and 28 touchdowns as a senior and rushed for 482 yards and 11 TDs. He’s rated as the nation’s No. 16 overall prospect and top quarterback on the Scout 300, No. 18 and the top pro-style quarterback on the Rivals 100, and No. 20 and the No. 2 quarterback overall on the ESPNU 150.
The other quarterback considered on the same level as Kiel is Jameis Winston (6-4, 195) of Hueytown, Ala. A Florida State commitment, Winston is reportedly still being pursued by LSU and a host of other schools. He’s No. 1 on the ESPNU 150, No. 10 on the Rivals 100 and No. 20 on the Scout 300.