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NCAA Football Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Will We See Gunner Kiel Start for Notre Dame in 2013?

Gunner Kiel Notre Dame

Matt Cashore-US Presswire

Everett Golson may have led Notre Dame all of the way to the BCS National Championship game in 2012, but how confident is Brian Kelly in his abilities moving forward? He still has three years of eligibility remaining for the Irish, but he’s going to have to show more consistency in the off-season to cement his status as the starter throughout all of 2013.

It’s hard to knock a guy that commanded a team to their first title appearance in over 20 years, but we all saw how inconsistent that Golson could be at times, being replaced mid-game by Tommy Rees on several occasions. So what happens if he starts to get shaky in spots where Notre Dame should easily have control of the game against, say, Purdue? Or Navy? Or even Pittsburgh again?

There’s a lot of hype around Kiel. We saw positive things in the Spring game last year and heard good things out of training camp before the magical 2012 campaign started. It’s tough to say if he’s ready for the spotlight, he will only be a Sophomore and has no in-game experience. That hasn’t stopped Kelly before, though.

You may not remember this, since you may not have attended Central Michigan in 2006 like I did, but Dan Lefevour wasn’t expected to be a starter since Brian Brunner was supposed to be the field general through the entire season. However, due to inconsistencies and reoccurring injuries, Kelly turned his faith over to Lefevour. Lefevour then went on to become the all-time leader in MAC history in total offense, passing Byron Leftwich.

We could see a similar situation in South Bend if Golson doesn’t improve on his 2012 season, and there’s a lot of potential for Kiel to be a star under the golden dome. He was a 5-star recruit after all, so scouts everywhere know about his raw talent and this could be his chance to showcase it if the Irish are down by 10 points against Temple in the first game of the season.

Korey Beckett is a writer for RantSports.com and can be reached at koreydbeckett@gmail.com for questions and comments.