Bloomington – Last weekend's visit to Bloomington did a lot to ease any doubts that had crept into the mind of Columbus (Ind.) quarterback Dusty Kiel.
Scout.com's 69th-ranked quarterback nationally was one nine IU verbal commits who made his official visit last weekend, and like many of the others Kiel had some questions about what happened to the Hoosiers on the field this fall. But Kiel said he felt better about the situation by the time he left campus last Sunday.
Kiel talked about last season as well as the future of the IU program with his host, Ben Chappell, as well as freshman running back Darius Willis, who was hosting Duwyce Wilson. Chappell and Willis shed some light on some of the things that transpired this season.
"They had a lot of injuries, injuries on the offensive line and the whole secondary was banged up," Kiel said. "I couldn't believe all the injuries they had."
Those injuries contributed a great deal to IU going from seven wins in 2007 to only three in 2008, but Kiel said his conversations with players and staff alike suggest that the program will get things turned back around beginning in 2009.
"There's a group of guys in Ben Chappell's class that has an attitude of ‘we're going to get this thing done,'" Kiel said. "That's the kind of thing that needs to happen and I liked hearing that."
By the time Kiel's visit had come to a close, he said he was once again feeling very good about the decision he made in July to commit to the Hoosiers.
"I was maybe reconsidering a little bit before, but after the visit, I'm good to go now," Kiel said. "It was good to get to talk to both Coach Lynchs and Coach (Matt) Canada and get to know them better. I feel really comfortable over there now."
While Kiel says he's solid with IU, one program is still working on him extremely hard to try to get him to change his mind. Cincinnati has offered both Kiel and Wilson scholarships, and the Bearcats coaching staff is making its best effort to get both to come to campus for an official visit in the next couple of weeks.
"They're kind of there, they offered, so they want me to come for a visit, but that's about it," Kiel said.
It's easy to see why others might want to see if Kiel would be willing to reconsider. The 6-3, 220-pounder is coming off a huge senior season, accounting for more than 4,000 yards for Columbus East, which went 13-1 advanced to the semistate. Kiel completed 160-of-252 passes for 3,130 yards, 35 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He also rushed for 1,165 yards and 15 scores on 150 carries.
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