Columbus Elite 11 notebook
Gunner Kiel keeping things quiet; Sean Maguire makes trip to compete versus the best
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Don't expect too many big announcements out of Gunner Kiel (Columbus, Ind./Columbus East) in regards to his recruitment.
The Under Armour All-American has kept things very close to the vest thus far and will continue to do so until he's ready to make a final announcement.
"It's going to be a personal decision and one that I'm going to keep with myself and my family," Kiel said. "Whenever I'm ready to make that decision, I'm going to tell my family, my coaches and my teammates before it gets to the public."
Kiel is often linked to Notre Dame and Oklahoma, as well as Alabama, Michigan and Missouri, among other schools, but he is careful not to spend much time talking about any particular program.
"I appreciate all of the schools that have shown interest in me," he said.
He's also going to keep a very quiet summer schedule. Outside of the Elite 11 national showcase in California, Kiel says he's going to spend a lot of time with his teammates.
"I'm going to base my summer around my team and working with those guys so we can all get better," Kiel said. "I'm going to put those guys ahead of me."
Kiel also mentioned that his brothers, Drew and Dusty, will be home for the summer. Drew was a quarterback for Northern Illinois last season and Dusty will be a redshirt sophomore quarterback at Indiana this fall.
Maguire makes the call
After taking one glance at Friday's Elite 11 roster, Sean Maguire (West Orange, N.J./Seton Hall Prep) decided to book a flight and be part of the event.
The 6-foot-2, 195-pounder quickly showed he was ready to compete with the top talent there and graded among the top passers.
"I saw the top quarterbacks were going to be here and I wanted to show everyone that I can hang with these guys," Maguire said. "It was a great day, and I'm glad I came."
Right now Maguire has an offer from Florida State and recently took a trip to Tallahassee.
"It was a good time, I love the warm weather," Maguire said. "I'm from Jersey, so it was nice to enjoy a couple of spring days in Florida."
Maguire also has taken visits to UConn, Pittsburgh, Maryland and Boston College. He also has several other programs that have taken interest in him, including an SEC power.
"Alabama has been a school I've talked to quite a bit recently," Maguire said. "N.C. State, Tennessee and Syracuse have also been in contact. Everyone wants to see me throw in person and things pick up from there."
Matthews chooses prom
TCU commit Tyler Matthews (McPherson, Kan./McPherson) was conspicuous by his absence at last month's Elite 11 regional on the school's campus at Fort Worth, Texas.
But the 6-2, 200-pounder had a good excuse -- it was prom night.
"Well yeah I had some prior arrangements," Matthews joked. "It was prom night and it's my last prom because I'm going to graduate early. My date had already bought her dress, so there was no way I could get out of that one.
"It's probably a good thing, too, because I might have had an angry father coming after me. I had a good time though and a good-looking date."
Matthews was in attendance Friday and continued to show many observers why TCU aggressively pursued him and eventually received the commitment.
"It all worked out for me in the end," Matthews said.
His early commitment to TCU came as a bit of a surprise, but Matthews cites the coaching staff, the offense and the success of quarterbacks coming through the program as his reasons for making the call.
"I just feel great when I'm on that campus and around that coaching staff," Matthews said. "It's a family atmosphere there and it's not too far from home. They run a similar offense to what I'm doing in high school right now."
Matthews says he's going to be closely watching Big East football this season, as TCU is slated to join the conference in the 2012 season.
Appleby makes successful return
Rising senior Austin Appleby (North Canton, Ohio/Hoover) had been waiting for this day since he suffered a season-ending knee injury during Week 8 of his junior season.
The 6-5, 220-pounder tore his ACL and had surgery three weeks later. He was recently cleared by Ohio State team physician, Dr. Christopher Kaeding, and put his hard work on display Friday in an impressive performance.
"I have been itching to compete because I got my season taken away," Appleby said. "It's been seven long months, and I wanted to be out here with the top quarterbacks in the country."
Despite the injury, Appleby has received offers from Buffalo, Temple, Akron, Western Kentucky, Western Michigan, Miami (OH) and Kent State. He's also been in contact with several BCS programs.
"I have a lot of mid-major offers right now, and the BCS schools are on the edge because they want to see me throw and check out the leg," Appleby said. "But I've been throwing since February and the last time I felt any pain was in January, so I'm getting ready for a busy summer."
Appleby said he will be traveling extensively over the summer and will attend several camps.
"It's been a lot of hard work to get back to this point, and I want to show these schools exactly what I can do," Appleby said.
Alviti takes it in
Rising junior Matt Alviti (Park Ridge, Ill./Maine Township South) showed some impressive zip on his throws during Friday's Elite 11 and Saturday's Nike Football Training Camp.
The 6-0, 175-pounder already has offers from Northwestern, Illinois and Indiana. He's also being visited by new programs each week.
"Right now I'm staying in touch with Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Miami, Boston College, California, Vanderbilt and Kansas," Alviti said. "There have been a few more schools as well."
Coming from a spread offense, Alviti appreciates the opportunity to show his versatility during the camps.
"I want to show that I'm comfortable in any style of offense," Alviti said. "Spread, pro-style, it really doesn't matter. I can play out of the shotgun or under center and do the five-step and seven-step drops."
Alviti says he will participate in a 7-on-7 tournament at Notre Dame over the summer and is also going to try to visit Miami.
Corey Long has been covering high school football and recruiting in the Sunshine State since 1995. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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