Do you realize what it would mean if Columbus superstar prep quarterback Gunner Kiel picks Indiana to play his college football?
It would be huge for the program, short term and long term. It would show coach Kevin Wilson has the recruiting clout to land what may be the nation’s No. 1 quarterback prospect and could generate the kind of recruiting momentum basketball coach Tom Crean has now.
Oh, yes. It might mean some SERIOUS winning down the road.
Granted, IU would still need an offensive line to protect Kiel and skill players to maximize his potential, but you have to start somewhere.
Consider, for instance, the impact Anthony Thompson had on the Hoosiers back in the 1980s.
But all this remains speculation. Kiel’s decision has all the drama of the opening of the Indiana Jones movie, and rumors are everywhere. He’s going to be a Hoosier. No. He’s heading to Alabama. Wait. He’ll call Oklahoma his home. Or is it Tennessee or Missouri?
He was supposed to decide last month, or was it last week?
Hey, making a decision that will affect the rest of your life is tough, especially when you have so many prospects.
For now, Kiel is in Malibu, California, which is a GORGEOUS place to be. He is participating in the Elite 11 quarterback competition at Pepperdine University. Twenty-three of the nation’s other top high school quarterbacks are there, and most of them already have committed.
Kiel has not and the suspense could kill a Hoosier fan craving for football success.
Kiel has NFL quarterback size right now at 6-4 and 215 pounds. He makes all the throws and does so accurately. That is huge. Accuracy is among the many reasons why Drew Brees and Peyton Manning are so good. When they throw, the ball never hits the ground.
Rivals.com listed Kiel as having the third-best first day at the Elite 11 camp, behind Alabama's Jameis Winston and Idaho's Tanner Mangum.
IU has a possible edge by having Dusty Kiel, Gunner’s brother, on track to be the Hoosier starting quarterback this season. Nothing is etched in stone. Wilson will make the older Kiel earn the position, and that won’t be determined until next month in training camp. Still, Gunner will attend a lot of Hoosier games, which will give Wilson plenty of chances to make a big impression.
If Gunner waits that long. Signing day isn’t until February, so there really isn’t any rush except in the minds of those dying to know. Coaches will wait on Gunner’s decision, however long that takes. He’s indicated that will come before school.
Quarterbacking is a family tradition given that another older brother, Drew, is at Illinois State. What they’ve gone through, both in the recruiting process and what’s expected at the college level, has helped prepare Gunner.
He has all the makings of an elite quarterback. Can he turn down the big-time draw of an Alabama or Oklahoma or, to a lesser extent, a Missouri to become a Hoosier?
IU still has a chance. For now, that has to be enough.
Could IU use a 6-11, 230-pound inside basketball force?
Are you nuts? Of course the Hoosiers could use somebody like that given their inside vulnerability in recent years.
Is Garrett Green that guy?
Green played three years at LSU and is poised to graduate this summer. NCAA allows graduated players to enroll in graduate school at another college and play right away if they have one remaining year of eligibility. Green does (he redshirted one year because of back problems). He wants to start a Master’s sports management program. Guess what? IU has one.
However, Green only averaged 6.3 points and 5.1 minutes last season. He only started 17 games in three years. He is not the second coming of Shaq. Still, he once scored 18 points against Auburn and grabbed 13 rebounds against Wichita State. Those aren’t insignificant numbers. A stiff wouldn’t do that.
Green is set to visit Indiana this week. He’ll likely make other visits as well.
This would be a one-and-done deal, which would work for Indiana considering the next season is when all the Class of 2012 prospects arrive. For this season Green would boost an inside game featuring freshman Cody Zeller and senior Tom Pritchard. If nothing else, he’ll provide depth. And if he can defend and rebound and score off others’ misses, well, it would really, really help.
IU has a new head football coach and now new uniforms and helmets. Will that make an impact in the record?
We’ll have to see.
The Hoosiers are returning to a more traditional look. Gone are the stripes on the helmets and jersey sleeves. Forget about the red face masks. Now they’ll be classic white. The new jerseys will be traditional red and white. They’ll have adidas’ TECFIT compression technology.
What does TECFIT mean? Adidas says they jerseys will be 30 percent lighter, although it’s uncertain if it will make IU players 30 percent faster. The compression fit means it’s nice and snug, so there’s nothing for opponents to grab.
Athletic director Fred Glass is happy with the new uniforms, which shouldn’t come as a surprise given he gave the green light.
“I think fans are really going to like our return to a more traditional design and color scheme,” he said in a university release.
The fact adidas is providing all this isn’t a coincidence. IU has an all-sports agreement with the company. Adidas provides uniforms, shoes and equipment for every Hoosier sport, plus licensing gear and clothing. This is the fourth year of an eight-year deal.
IU will debut the new look with its Sept. 3 season opener against Ball State at Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium.
“The uniforms are really sharp,” Wilson said in a university release. “Our guys will be excited and the fans will love them. We wanted a look that builds on tradition yet has a cutting edge style that our players with wear with IU pride.”