June 7, 2011

Gunner Kiel Q&A Part 2

TideSports.com caught up with Columbus, Ind., quarterback Gunner Kiel for an exclusive interview with the nation's top signal caller.

In part two of the interview, Kiel talks about how his summer is going with camps and tournaments, and he also opens up and lets the reader know a little more about himself.

Q: How'd the 7-on-7 tournament go on Saturday
A: It was a lot of fun. We got better as a team. When we first came out here, I think we were all kind of nervous. We didn't really know what to expect with some young guys coming up to fill spots. We played really well. We just have to keep working out and trying to get better.

Q: What all are you working on this summer?
A: I'm just trying to get a relationship with the wide receivers, understand where they're going to go, know the placement of the ball and where to put it. That's just stuff I need to work on with my wide receivers, building that relationship and knowing where to go.

Q: How was the Elite 11 QB camp a couple weeks ago in Columbus?
A: It was a blast. I had so much fun. Whenever I went to it last year as a sophomore, I was nervous because I didn't really know what to expect. I knew what to expect this year, so when I came out this time, I was just having fun and letting loose. That's all you can really do.

Q: How much has growing up in a football family helped you?
A: It helps a ton, especially having Drew and Dusty, my older brothers, and my dad. Whenever Drew would go to camps, he would come back, and I would be in fifth or sixth grade, and he'd tell me what I have to work on. I didn't really grow up doing kid stuff. I was working out and trying to get my feet better. Drew and Dusty have really been great role models for me. I couldn't ask for two better brothers, a better dad or a better family. We're definitely a football family. We're super close, and we talk about everything.

Q: Are you planning to graduate early?
A: Yep, I'm actually going to start summer school June 6 with some online classes.

Q: What's your reason behind graduating early?
A: I really want to come in January, go to college and get some credits done, and get to know all of the guys. I want to learn the playbook as fast as possible, so I'm not behind. I feel like a quarterback has to know everything about everything, so I want to go in there and get a fresh start.

Q: How important is playing early to you?
A: I want to play my sophomore or junior year, so I can get two or three years in. I'm fine with starting as soon as possible because I want to get on the field as soon as I can. That goes along with working hard, trying to get better, learning the plays and being super consistent.

Q: Does the competition from other players coming in affect your decision at all?
A: No, not really because I know everywhere I go there's going to strong competition, and I've got to go in and compete and work hard, and that's what I'm going to do. I may not be the best players on the team, but I'm going to try to be one of the hardest workers.

Q: What's your favorite memory of a game you played?
A: My favorite game was when we were playing our rival school in the first round of the playoffs, and I drove the team down on like a 70-yard drive with 45 seconds left and no timeouts. That was pretty awesome. We beat them by one. That was my sophomore year.

Q: Who's your favorite QB?
A: All-time would be Joe Montana. Right now, it would probably be Brett Favre. He can sling it. He lets it fly. He doesn't really care. He just goes back there and lets it rip.

Q: What number do you want to be when you get to college?
A: I want to be No. 6. It goes 4, 5, blank, 7, 8, 9 in my family. So I've got to be No. 6 to follow the order.

Q: Where'd the name Gunner come from?

A: My parents found out that Boomer Esiason's kid's name was Gunner, so they liked the name. It was going to be either that or Dalton, I think. I didn't really want that name. They stuck with Gunner, and I like it.

Q: If you had to play another sport what would it be?
A: Golf just because it's fun. I'm not the best. I'm actually awful, but I like to go around and hack it.

Q: What do you like to do when you're not on the football field?
A: I hang out with the guys a lot, go to the movies. I used to get a bunch of guys from the football team after a long camp and go to Hooters. It was fun for us because we got to bond a lot. Other than that, I go bowling a lot, go fishing and whiffle ball. We're big whiffle ballers.

Q: Mavs or Heat?
A: I like Dirk Nowitzki. He can shoot the trey. I really have no idea. I think the Heat will probably win it.

Favorite restaurant: Champps Bar and Grill

Favorite food: I'm a big cheeseburger, but I always come back to my mom's breakfast or my mom's breaded tenderloin. My mom can fix up anything for breakfast, and it's outstanding.

Favorite Music: To be honest, my brothers have kind of turned me into a country guy.

Favorite Movie: My favorite football movie would be Any Given Sunday or Varsity Blues.

Car: I drive a Yukon. It's big. It gets terrible gas mileage, but it's safe.

Reach Greg Ostendorf at greg@tidesports.com.

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