Deshone Kizer Flashes Potential at Elite 11 Finals

DeShone Kizer, of Toledo, Ohio, goes through some drills during the morning session of the Elite 11 at Nike World Headquarters. (Photo: Steve Dykes / USA TODAY Sports)

The unofficial face of the Notre Dame football recruiting class of 2014, Deshone Kizer, was in Oregon last week for the Opening and Elite 11 quarterback competition and along with several other Notre Dame commitments like Elijah Hood and Justin Brent, he too was impressive in his performance even if he did not make the final 11 in the Elite 11 standings.

When Kizer committed to Notre Dame a few weeks ago, Notre Dame knew the Irish were getting a very talented, but raw quarterback prospect whose best days were well ahead of him.  Kizer’s performance in the Elite 11 drills confirm that.  The Toledo native has a world of talent, but is going to need to be coached up in order to manifest that immense talent into production at Notre Dame.

Trent Dilfer runs the Elite 11 camp and had this to say on Kizer to 247 Sports:

“He’s improved a lot since I saw him in Columbus.  He’s still pretty inconsistent though.  What bothered me today was that he lacked some discipline.  The coaching staff also didn’t have the best day overall.”

Other reprots out of Oregon on Kizer last week echoed similar sentiments – Kizer flashed talent but was inconsistent at times and has some things that need to be corrected with his mechanics to reach his potential.  The good news for Notre Dame, however, was that most of those reports also spoke glowingly about how coachable Kizer is – something that should allow for him to easily correct his mechanics and tap into his potential once he arrives at Notre Dame.

Deshone Kizer in passing drills at the Elite 11 Finals
DeShone Kizer, of Toledo, Ohio, passes the ball during the morning session of the Elite 11 at Nike World Headquarters. (Photo: Steve Dykes / USA TODAY Sports)

In may ways, Kizer is a very prototypical quarterback recruit for Brian Kelly.  He is big and mobile with a big arm but needs to be coached up.  Kelly has made a career out of finding prospects who were just starting to scratch the surface of their potential before enrolling in college as opposed to loading up on 4-star talent that has maxed out on the high school level.

Kizer’s efforts were not good enough to land him in the final 11 of the competition, but that shouldn’t dampen the moods of any Notre Dame fans.  Kizer’s best playing days are still very much ahead of him and it will be the job of Brian Kelly and Chuck Martin to make sure he reaches his potential on the college level.

Deshone Kizer is already an active recruiter for Notre Dame

For Notre Dame fans, the work Kizer put in off the field in Oregon might be just as, if not more, encouraging.  Kizer has seemingly taken the mantle from James Onwaulu last year as the face of the Notre Dame recruiting class and the group’s unofficial top recruiter.  In comments to Irish Sports Daily, Kizer explained his approach to attracting other elite prospects to South Bend.

“I talk to him (Chuck Martin) a lot about recruits coming in, how I approach certain guys and what type of guys we are recruiting. I try to think like I would if I were a coach. I don’t want to go get a guy who is a freak athlete, but I know doesn’t have the Irish character or the grades. I try my hardest to recruit the way the coaching staff above me recruits and consider myself one of them and continue to try to make this class as powerful as I can.”

Not only do those statements show that Kizer fully understands what it takes to be successful at Notre Dame both on and off the field, they also show the type of leadership qualities that you want in your quarterback.  Even though he has only been committed to Notre Dame for a little more than a month, he is actively recruiting other elite recruits to come to Notre Dame and doing so in a very constructive way as opposed to just telling other recruits “they gotta go to Notre Dame” or something like that.

There is a whole lot to like about Deshone Kizer and what he brings to Notre Dame next year both on and off the field.  Off the field he is already displaying leadership qualities necessary to be a successful quarterback in a high profile place such as Notre Dame and on the the field he is showing the potential that earned him offers from Alabama and LSU prior to committing to Notre Dame

Elijah Hood and Justin Brent impressed in Oregon too

In case you missed our earlier posts, fellow Notre Dame commitments Elijah Hood and Justin Brent were also impressive last in Oregon.  Hood was in the finals of the SPARQ National Championships before crams forced him out of the competition and Brent was named to the Dream Team by 247 Sports and looks like he will continue to climb up the recruiting rankings after committing to Notre Dame last summer as a lesser known, 3-star prospect.

It’s been a great couple of weeks for Notre Dame recruiting in general as the Irish also picked up another commitment over the weekend in the form of DE/OLB Grant Blankenship.  The Texas native commits to Notre Dame in much of the same mold as Troy Niklas – a massive prospect that could grow into a number of different positions depending on what he does in the weight room.

You may also like


  1. Frank , looks like we have something that will be special, it will be fun to see how he takes coaching

  2. Often, character and leadership are intangibles that’s in an athlete’s
    DNA or not. DeShone seems to possess those.
    Mechanics and discipline can be fine-tuned and developed.
    His size and mobility fits him into the mold of BK’s scheme,
    and his attitude appears to mark him as the RKG ND seeks.

    With EG’s return, and DeShone and Zaire around, the potential
    and depth @ QB hasn’t looked this promising for quite a while.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button