Notre Dame football recruiting: QB target Kizer visiting Sunday

TYLER JAMES South Bend Tribune
ND Insider

The newest quarterback target for Notre Dame will step on campus Sunday for an unofficial visit.

DeShone Kizer, a rising senior at Toledo (Ohio) Central Catholic, reported an offer from the Irish on Wednesday and promptly scheduled a visit.

The 6-foot-4, 215-pound dual-threat quarterback essentially replaced the visit scheduled for fellow 2014 quarterback Kyle Allen, who committed to Texas A&M on Monday and canceled a trip to Notre Dame set for Monday and Tuesday. Now Kizer sits in the South Bend spotlight. national recruiting writer Steve Wiltfong said Notre Dame and LSU are the top contenders for Kizer. The four-star quarterback plans to visit LSU on Friday.

“Notre Dame was an offer he wanted,” Wiltfong said. “At the same time, LSU has done a fantastic job of recruiting him and he sees a potential fit down there.”

Kizer, who ranks as the No. 6 dual-threat quarterback on 247Sports and No. 8 on, will be the first offered quarterback in the 2014 class to visit Notre Dame this year.

CBS Sports Network recruiting analyst Tom Lemming said Kizer is among the top three quarterbacks in the Midwest in the 2014 class.

“He’s a good athlete,” Lemming said. “There aren’t many athletic quarterbacks this year. He’s a good, solid player. He’s a tall kid with a good arm.”

With Notre Dame running a spread offense, Kizer could be a good fit.

“He has that skill set that you want in a spread offense quarterback that can throw on the run and can tuck and run when he gets forced out,” Lemming said. “He’s got the intangibles that I think Notre Dame’s looking for.”

The Irish have turned their focus on Kizer in hopes of making a strong impression immediately. The Notre Dame offer comes to Kizer later than some of the other major contenders in his recruitment like Tennessee and LSU (February) and Alabama (March), so the Irish are working from a deficit in that regard.

“I know he wants to decide sooner rather than later but is not going to rush,” Wiltfong said. “He’s going to want to have all the data there before he makes the call. Notre Dame’s right there in the thick of it with a chance to make a move.”

Whatever move is made in the coming days with Kizer could impact how the rest of the month plays out at the position. Because most programs will sign no more than one quarterback, the recruitment of each of the national prospects impacts the others. Irish-offered quarterbacks David Cornwell and Jacob Park have also targeted visits to Notre Dame later in June, Wiltfong said. But the Irish appear to trail significantly with both of those quarterbacks, with Alabama the favorite to land Cornwell and Virginia Tech the same with Park.

Cornwell, a 6-5, 235-pound quarterback at Norman (Okla.) North, recently was cleared by the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association to play one more season this fall after missing the 2011 season because of a family illness, according to a report in The Oklahoman. His recruitment could be over before his senior season starts.

“Alabama’s going to make their decision on which quarterback they’re taking by the 15th,” Wiltfong said. “If it’s Cornwell, I think almost everyone anticipates Cornwell jumping on an offer from Nick Saban which would mean he wouldn’t visit Notre Dame. Tennessee is in a great spot for him too with some other schools.”

247Sports slates Cornwell as the No. 1 pro-style quarterback prospect in his class. Rivals ranks Cornwell No. 3.

As for Park, the 6-3, 200-pound quarterback at Stratford High in Goose Creek, S.C., his affinity for Virginia Tech may have already affected the Hokies recruitment of quarterback recruit Mason Rudolph, who committed to Oklahoma State this week shortly after a Virginia Tech visit.

“If he visits Notre Dame, anything can happen,” Wiltfong said. “We’ll see if he makes it on the day he’s intended to right now. Obviously there’s some intrigue with Notre Dame, but Virginia Tech’s been able to solidify themselves as the leader. Jacob Park is also in the mix for an Alabama offer. That’s one he really wants as well.”

Signing day is eight months away, but the month of June will greatly impact the outcome of recruiting at the quarterback position for Notre Dame.

“If you’re handicapping the race right now, Kizer seems like the best bet (to choose Notre Dame) but recruiting’s so fluid,” Wiltfong said “What’s right today is wrong tomorrow.”

Staff writer Tyler James: