Freshman quarterback Gunner Kiel informed head coach Brian Kelly that he plans to transfer from Notre Dame in the near future, a source close to the situation confirmed to Blue & Gold Illustrated Thursday night.
Kiel did not see any action in his first season with the Irish while redshirting behind rookie starter Everett Golson. The Columbus, Ind. native was rated as the No. 1 pro style quarterback in the 2012 recruiting class. Kiel committed to both Indiana and LSU before making an eleventh hour decision to enroll at Notre Dame at the start of the 2012 spring semester.
He took part in a four-man quarterback competition in the spring. During his first season he was mostly responsible for scout team duties. In January, while the Irish were in Miami for the national championship game, Kiel said he planned on staying in South Bend to battle for playing time in the future.
“It’s really hard for any freshman to come in and start, especially at the quarterback position,” he said. “For me it was just a learning experience, coming in and learning the offense.”
Notre Dame has yet to confirm Kiel's planned departure. Kiel had an upward battle to find playing time. Golson, who led the Irish to the BCS Championship game, has three seasons of eligibility remaining. Seniors Andrew Hendrix and experienced starter Tommy Rees are also both scheduled to return next fall.
"It’s definitely going to be difficult," he said in January. "You just gotta come out there and do your best and try to get better. Even if I don’t [beat out Golson] there’s always room for improvement, and I can look up to Everett and try to reach his goals and try to learn from coach Kelly and do my best to learn more each day."
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