NCAA Recruiting: Gunner Kiel Pros and Cons

Quarterback Gunner Kiel from Columbus East High School is one of the top quarterbacks in the class of 2021. He’s arguably the top prospect at the position in the Midwest.

Here are some of the pros and cons to recruiting Gunner Kiel.

Pros
#1. Accuracy

Kiel is very accurate and is able to place the ball where a receiver can make the catch and run. He’s capable of consistently throwing a tight spiral.

#2. Fundamentals
Kiel seems to have been coached well. He keeps his steps short when moving around the pocket and is prepared to start his throwing motion at any time. Kiel’s throwing motion is consistent and smooth. The ball comes out of his hand at a high point with a tight spiral.

If he decides to scramble, Kiel tucks the ball high and tight. He transfers the ball between arms and away from defenders.

#3. Size
Kiel is listed at a prototypical 6’4″ and 200 pounds. He carries his weight well and has a lean body. He has the body frame to gain more muscle at the collegiate level which should help him add arm strength.

#4. Vision
Kiel sees both sides of the field equally well. He’s capable of reading basic defenses and quickly decides which receiver to throw to.

Cons
#1. Advanced Techniques

Kiel does need to continue working on his patience with designed runs and options. He tends to be quick to pull the ball away from the tailback instead of allowing the defense to bite on the fake. He was not asked to develop his play-action fakes much in high school and will need to do so at the next level.

#1. Arm Strength
Kiel has average to slightly above-average arm strength. He has to forcefully step into his throw when attempting a deep pass. If the pass-rush is in his face and he can’t set his feet, Kiel’s throws come out with a loose spiral.

Kiel should be able to improve his arm strength once he enters a college program and starts eating properly and weightlifting regularly. However, it’s about 50/50 whether Kiel will ever have an elite arm.

Opinion
Kiel brings a lot of positives to the table. He appears to be willing to handle team leadership and hasn’t had any behavioral problems off the field. Two of his brothers play football at the collegiate level so he has decent bloodlines. Kiel’s flaws are relatively minor and appear to be correctable with coaching and development time.

Kiel’s best fit should be in a pro-style offense that attacks the short and intermediate areas of the field. Although he has some mobility, Kiel isn’t particularly fast or quick enough as a runner to handle a spread-option offense.