Notre Dame Spring Football: Gunner Kiel Impresses In First Practice

SOUTH BEND, IN - SEPTEMBER 17: Notre Dame Stadium is seen while the Notre Dame Fighting Irish play the Michigan State Spartans during the first half September 17, 2011at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana. Notre Dame defeated Michigan State 31-13. (Photo by John Gress/Getty Images)

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish prepare for the 2012 college football season with their annual spring practices and Blue-Gold Game.

The highly-touted, highly-anticipated freshman quarterback, Gunner Kiel, made some good impressions on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football staff on Thursday. And by the sound of it, all he had to do was stand up straight:

"He's a very talented young man," said Irish third-year coach Brian Kelly... "And he has something the other three quarterback don't have -- that's (being) 6-foot-4. When you've got that size, it allows you to see some things."

Kiel was one of the nation's top high school recruits and a last-minute addition to an already impressive Fighting Irish draft class. He is expected to compete with incumbent quarterbacks Tommy Rees and Andrew Hendrix. And, if Kiel can get the playbook under control, he stands a chance against the two juniors:

"For him, it's just understanding the language right now," Kelly said of Kiel's challenges. "Right now, that's a bit overwhelming for him, but when he can get comfortable, he's got all the tools."

The Irish will play their annual Blue-Gold Dame on April 21. Stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago for more updates on Kiel and the Irish football.

For more on the Fighting Irish spring football season, drop by the Notre Dame blog One Foot Down or the SB Nation College Football news hub.

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