If you haven't heard by now the former Notre Dame recruit / Greek God of Quarterbacks visited Cincinnati. That was the first that Kiel has taken since leaving South Bend, but it wont be the last. Kiel visited Ball State recently and is reported to have visited Miami at some point. Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Kansas State have all been in contact according to Kiel himself.
Just today Tom Groeschen of the Enquirer published a piece about the Bearcats positioning with Kiel. Most interesting of all is the quote from a UC source.
"He knows he has to get this one right, we know he has to look around, but we think we’re a perfect fit for him."
But is UC really the perfect fit? Past history says otherwise. The Bearcats have had some hits, (Ben Mauk, Richard Hall, Brandon Underwood, Alex Daniels) but there is no shortage of flame outs either (Demetrius Jones, Dorian Davis, Vidal Hazelton*)
*Through no fault of his own
There is no question that Kiel is a really talented player. There is just as little questioning that there is something off about him. Over the past two years he has gone through one of the most convoluted recruiting processes in recent history, and it was almost all of his own doing. The fact that no one close to either Kiel or Notre Dame was surprised by his transfer says a lot.
Put bluntly I don't think that Kiel is worth the trouble. Not for a UC program whose leaders will be going on their third head coach in their careers. There is a lot of motivational gold to be mined for Tommy Tuberville and his staff by creating a bunker mentality. That is a theme that Brian Kelly played to the hilt, Butch Jones less so. But creating that mentality becomes more difficult when your leadership is quite visibly pursuing outside help. Basically telling your existing team that, in effect, they aren't good enough isn't particularly helpful to creating that bunker mentality. This is an admittedly esoteric objection.
But I have a simpler objection. Bennie Coney is going to be better than Gunner Kiel. Kiel is what a QB produced in a lab would look like, 6'4" 220, big arm, decent touch. Coney is 20 pounds lighter and an inch or two shorter, but his potential is immense. Coney is arguably the most physically gifted signal caller to come to UC since Greg Cook. By most accounts Coney's understanding of the game has caught up to his physical ability, and he has been the star of spring. There is something to be said for bringing in competition, but if you already know who the heir apparent is why mess with it?