April 10, 2013 // Notre Dame Football

Gunner Kiel to Cincinnati, Davonte Neal to Arizona

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Former Notre Dame quarterback Gunner Kiel – shown here warming up before Notre Dame’s 2012 game against Pittsburgh – has decided to transfer to Cincinnati. (Photo – Matt Quinnan/Icon SMI)

Notre Dame has had three players decide to transfer from the University since the end of the 2012 season.  On Wednesday we learned the destination of two of those players with Gunner Kiel heading to Cincinnati and Davonte Neal selecting Arizona.

Gunner Kiel came to Notre Dame as a 5-star high school quarterback, but spent the 2012 season as a scout team quarterback for the Fighting Irish.  It was thought that he would challenge for the #2 quarterback spot this fall and push incumbent starter Everett Golson.  With Golson having three yeas of eligibility and really growing into the starting role, Kiel decided to transfer before the start of spring practice.

Kiel’s choice of Cincinnati should not come as shock to anyone.  Cincinnati is not far from Kiel’s hometown of Columbus, Indiana and the Bearcats recruited him out of high school.  Cincinnati is also not on Notre Dame’s schedule during the next four years which was likely part of his release from his scholarship as is usually the case with any transfers.

Davonte Neal will also be headed close to home by enrolling with his home state Arizona where he he’ll join Rich Rodriguez’s Wildcats.  When new broke that Neal was transferring, it was reported that he was doing so in order to be closer to his infant child.  Originally his girlfriend and child were going to move closer to Notre Dame, but in the end it was Neal who ended up doing the moving.

Notre Dame will miss Neal on the field much more in 2013 as the sophomore was in position to be used as Notre Dame’s slot receiver and primary punt return man.  While Kiel could have challenged for the backup quarterback position, Notre Dame is in fine shape with the steady hand of Tommy Rees serving as Golson’s backup again this year.  Based on Brian Kelly’s recent comments over the mental maturity of early enrollee Malik Zaire, the Irish quarterback position also looks to be in fine shape long term.

At Cincinnati Kiel will have the chance to challenge for the starting quarterback postion in 2014 with the Bearcats currently featuring two senior quarterbacks at the top of their depth chart in 2013.  With Golson having three years of eligibility remaining, it’s very possible that Kiel may not have had that same chance until 2016 at Notre Dame.

Neal on the other hand could potentially see the field as early as this fall if he is granted a hardship waiver from the NCAA.  Last year Amir Carlisle was granted a hardship waiver by the NCAA after he transferred to Notre Dame to be closer to his family.

Justin Ferguson, a rising sophomore wide receiver, also decided to transfer from Notre Dame this spring, but to this point he has not decided on where he will be enrolling next.

Comments to this Article

  • Toulmin H. Brown commented on April 11th, 2013 at 10:30 am

    Talented, restless, seeking a cushion is Mr. Kiel. This fine gentleman left Indiana, L.S.U., Notre Dame & would leave Tommy Tuberville if he has a lick of smarts. IMHO

    [Reply]

  • HURLS commented on April 16th, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    IMHO, also, THB (above), he took his ND-place for granted. (entitlement-gene) He didn’t say the wrong stuff, but what he did say was canned-responses. Aside from character-doubts, I think he was just not a good fit for Kelly-ball. Just like what’s-his-face Claussen. “You can’t fit a square-peg in a round-hole” and methinks the Gun was a square-peg. Just like what’s-his-face Claussen.

    [Reply]

    Irish '94 replied on April 17th, 2013 at 11:55 am

    James Richard Clausen is a graduate and fellow alum of Notre Dame. I suggest you show him respect and gratitude.

    [Reply]

    C-Dog replied on April 19th, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    For what? He was a good QB on an average team that was as a unit, poorly coached.

    I’ll show fellow alums gratitude for good works, like helping poor and underprivileged. If the QB entertains me, great, but I don’t owe him anything. He got $250K paid for when I and my family forked over our own quan to the good Fathers.

    Plus there is reliable reports that Weis bailed Jimmy out of some jams with the South Bend police that should have gotten him booted out of school and then some.

    [Reply]

    jeff replied on April 19th, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    Average team and poorly coached. I agree with you there C-Dog but that is not Clausens fault. Even though he came across as arrogant and what not he has been the best QB to come thru ND in a while.

  • duranko commented on April 17th, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    Clausen’s freakish, arrogant,self-absorbed hot dog roast at the College Football Hall of Fame was the most lame-brained, selfish things I’ve ever seen from a Notre Dame recruit.

    And, yeah, he overpromised and underdelivered, based on the outrageous
    and unsupported predictions he made that day. I’m with Hurls on this one.

    Spiked hair? Yellow Hummer? I expected Leahy to rise from his grave and smote him.

    Compare and contrast with the tweeted announcement of Sam Mustipher
    of his commitment to the Irish. That’s Notre Dame class even before you matriculate, and THAT is what an RKG looks and acts like.

    [Reply]

  • Shazamrock commented on April 18th, 2013 at 7:10 am

    I, like a lot of ND fans, never cared too much for Jimmy’s style.
    Arrogant, self-absorbed, and self-promoting pretty much sums it up.

    But in regards to I-94′s view, it should be remembered that Jimmy had absolutly no running game to fall back on, no play action passing game, a O-Line weak as water, and a head coach too stuborn to adjust.

    Never the less, he DID stand tall in there and took his lumps. (Which were many)

    One of my final memories of him, was him hobbling around on a bad foot, playing through pain, and trying to make plays.

    For that I give him credit.

    [Reply]

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