Gunner Kiel to the SEC? Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Tennessee May Be Interested

Gunner Kiel is transferring from Notre Dame. Questions linger about whether he has “the chest” to lead a college football program. But it sounds like he may have some intriguing options, if what he told ESPN is correct. It has been expected Kiel would try to stay close to home (MAC), but some SEC programs may be interested.

Kiel, who spent one season with the Irish, said he has been contacted by Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Kansas State, and that Tennessee, Ball State, Northern Illinois and Miami (Ohio) are also options. Kiel said he’s not sure which school he’ll visit next.

“The biggest factor for me now going through it all again is having a great relationship with my position coach,” said Kiel, adding that he knows he’ll have to sit out another season, so he wants to go to a program where he can compete for the starting position in 2014.

Ole Miss is intriguing. The downside is he’ll struggle beating out Bo Wallace as a senior in 2014. The upside is the Rebels are loading up for a serious run in 2015 when their star recruits Nkemdiche, Tunsil and Treadwell will be juniors. If those three pan out, you would have NFL Draft picks at cornerstone positions (left tackle and defensive end) with a big play wide receiver. Add a potential star quarterback to that mix…

Tennessee could be interesting too. Kiel would avoid a rough 2013 transition year. After that, the starting job would be attainable in 2014. It is only April, but it looks as though Butch Jones is putting together a very strong recruiting class. There should be some skill players ready to produce by then. Brian Kelly’s leftovers have served Jones well in the past.

Maybe wizardry would attract him to Kansas State? Bill Snyder having a quarterback that can deliver the ball in a timely fashion with velocity is a scary thought. Of course, becoming a Wildcat would also entail being in close proximity to this fellow.

[Photo via USA Today Sports]

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