Much has been made recently over the saga of Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterbacks, from the transfer of one-time mega-recruit Gunner Kiel, to the announcement that starting quarterback Everett Golson would miss the entire 2013 season, and finally the news that the top QB prospect the Irish were targeting, Kyle Allen (Scottsdale, AZ), planned on playing for Texas A&M next year.
Then, finally, a spot of good news came regarding Notre Dame quarterbacks. On Tuesday, 4-star dual-threat quarterback DeShone Kizer (Toledo, OH) announced he was picking the Irish over the likes of Alabama and LSU.
Some are calling Kizer a ‘consolation prize’ after losing out on Allen, especially when you factor in that Kizer was offered his scholarship the day after Allen picked A&M. But that’s not fair to Kizer, who very well could have a higher overall ceiling than Allen.
Kizer is a better fit in the Brian Kelly offense, which runs best with a versatile gunslinger who can exploit defenses with both arm and legs. Kizer can do just that, running a read-option offense in high school (Central Catholic Fighting Irish) that took advantage of not only his dual-threat capabilities, but also his on-field awareness.
As a junior, he completed 61 percent of his passes for 1,611 yards with an impressive 16-2 touchdown to interception ratio, to go along with 402 yards rushing at more than six yards per carry. Even more importantly than his stats were his teams results: 14-1 record en route to a OHSAA Division II State Championship.
Kizer is widely known for his maturity, diligence in and out of the classroom, leadership and intelligence — all traits commonly associated with successful quarterbacks.
So does this mark the end of Notre Dame recruiting quarterbacks for the 2014 recruiting class? Not by any stretch.
Kelly loves to live by the rule of thumb of bringing on at least one quarterback for each recruiting class. Now that it’s accomplished, the pressure is off and they can continue recruiting the likes of David Cornwell (Norman, OK), Jacob Park (Goose Creek, SC) and Brandon Dawkins (Westlake Village, CA) with really nothing to lose.
One thing is for sure: while the Irish won’t have a ton of depth at QB this fall, next year should be a different story. Andrew Hendrix (SR), Golson (JR), Malik Zaire (FR or SO depending on playing time this fall) and Kizer will all be in the mix.