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Football: Kiel to ND now official

Andrew Owens | Monday, January 16, 2012

Five-star quarterback Gunner Kiel is enrolled at Notre Dame for the spring semester, Notre Dame announced in a press release Tuesday.

Kiel, defensive lineman Sheldon Day and cornerback Tee Shepard have been added to the roster as early enrollees and freshman running back Amir Carlisle’s transfer from USC to the Irish was also announced in the release. All four will participate in spring football practice, but only the three early enrollees will be eligible for the 2012 season, as Carlisle must sit out a year under NCAA transfer rules.

“This recruitment process was a roller-coaster ride at times, but I know I have made the right decision for my family and me,” Kiel said in the release. “There were three critical elements I was looking for in my future school: the quality of education I would receive, the distance from home and the comfort level I would have with the players and coaches in the football program. Notre Dame was the perfect fit for me because it hit all three areas.”

Kiel was initially committed to Indiana before pledging to LSU in late December. He was set to begin classes there this week before changing his mind and enrolling at Notre Dame, all in the last 24 hours. Rumors first surfaced of Kiel’s decommittment from LSU on Monday afternoon, and late Monday night The Observer reported a University staff member expected Kiel to be living in O’Neill Hall by the end of the week.

“Coach Kelly was great throughout my recruitment, as many times our conversations had nothing do with football,” Kiel said. “That really showed me he had my best intentions in mind. He was persistent yet also patient while recruiting me and I look forward to playing for him the next four years. I couldn’t be happier to be a member of the Fighting Irish football team. I’m excited about the future of the program.”

Classes resumed at the University on Tuesday. The rest of the 2012 recruiting class will be announced beginning on National Signing Day on Feb. 1.