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Mizzou Football Recruiting: Tigers In On QB Gunner Kiel

The recruiting trail is a long, hard-fought road where getting a kid to commit often takes years of visits, interviews, phone calls and fighting off other suitors just for the chance to have that prospect on your campus.Thus, as we track recruits, names will come and go with so many teams vying for the same players who are still so far away. Yet the drama itself is interesting to see how it plays out, as you wonder if Gary Pinkel can bring in some of the high-profile players that the Tigers are currently linked with.

To start at quarterback, Columbus, Indiana's Gunner Kiel has both the perfect name and the game to back it up. Power Mizzou describes the Tigers chances as unlikely since other powerhouse programs like Alabama are already in the mix along with in-state schools. Yet when you have a chance to bring in a talent like Kiel at quarterback, you stay in as long as you can:

Kiel, a four-star, is the first quarterback on the list, and he was also the first quarterback Missouri offered in its 2012 class. Kiel visited Missouri twice already -- once over last summer, and then for the Miami (OH) game in September. Going up against the likes of Alabama, Oklahoma, Notre Dame and the sleeper, Indiana, it's unclear exactly where Missouri stands at this moment.

For the record, Kiel is 6-4, 220 and ranked at No. 19 overall in the nation's prospects for 2012 by Rivals. Two months ago, Sports Illustrated did a feature on the 2012 class and fawned all over Kiel:

In what is shaping up to be a fantastic year for quarterbacks, Kiel gets the first nod as the best of the bunch. With good size, a strong arm, a quick release and good accuracy, Kiel has all of the tools. But he also has the intangibles. Kiel is a competitive, physical kid who can take a hit, deliver a hit and make plays with his feet if necessary. He exhibits the same kind of play-making ability that has been Andrew Luck's signature over the past two seasons at Stanford.

Missouri has enjoyed high caliber quarterback play over the last several years and James Franklin hopes to continue that legacy. Another awaits his chance in incoming freshman Corbin Berkstresser. Yet you might soon add one more name to that list in Kiel. But the drama still has to be played out before anyone should be too excited.