On its surface, the loss of ESPNU's No. 20 overall player and No. 2 quarterback — one who plays just a few hours south from Notre Dame — would appear to be a blow for the Irish as the home stretch of the recruiting season approaches.
But Columbus East's (Ind.) Gunner Kiel's decision to commit to LSU on Tuesday night over Notre Dame and Vanderbilt is far from the end of the world in South Bend, Ind.
Notre Dame will close its 2011 campaign Thursday with a quarterback controversy, albeit a different one from the conundrum that the Irish began the season with. Sophomore Tommy Rees will start, sophomore Andrew Hendrix will back him up and freshman Everett Golson will bide his time for one more game before jumping into the mix this coming spring.
Three right arms are currently vying for one position. All three, if they wish, will be here for at least the next two seasons.
While the addition of a four-star quarterback would create a problem any coach would wish to have, Notre Dame already dealt with one unhappy camper this season in Dayne Crist. The Irish will likely have at least one more next season, as it is tough to envision a scenario in which three different signal callers see significant action. Adding Kiel to the mix would, at least in the immediate future, create room for one more clipboard-holder and increase the potential for resentment among the position.
Kiel is a tremendous prospect and is joining a tremendous team. But count quarterback as the one area moving forward that LSU could use more help at than Notre Dame.