FOX Sports NEXT No. 1 prospect, Gunner Kiel, intends to leave Notre Dame after just one season, sources close to the team told the Chicago Tribune.
A 2011 five-star recruit from Columbus, Ind., and an Irish legacy, Kiel first committed to Indiana in June 2011, later pledged to LSU in late December that year, then de-committed from the Tigers in time to enroll early at Notre Dame in mid-January, 2012.
Kiel was red-shirted this past season and didn’t play for the Irish this past season. He is the nephew of former Notre Dame quarterback Blair Kiel.
Gunner Kiel is the second former five-star prospect from Notre Dame's 17-player recruiting class in 2012 to leave the program. Cornerback Tee Shepard, also an early enrollee, transferred during his first semester, spring 2012, before taking part in spring practice. Neither played a down for the Irish.
Notre Dame returns three quarterbacks from 2012: junior starter Everett Golson, who has three seasons of eligibility remaining; senior backup Tommy Rees, who enters his final season in 2013, and Rees' classmate Andrew Hendrix, who is eligible through 2014 after a 2011 redshirt campaign.
2013 FOX Sports NEXT four-star prospect Malik Zaire enrolled at the University in January and will take part in spring practice this month.
Irisheyes.com expected Kiel to win the backup role to Golson, one that has historically resulted in extensive playing time and opportunity under head coach Brian Kelly.