Kiel, Golub Great ACC Underdog Tales
By Jackson Wang
Fans love college football for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it's for the competition, other times for the intensity. But there’s little better than underdog stories. It’s great to hear about the kid who had no chance of achieving his goals, yet was still able to reach them against all odds.
They’re not all David vs. Goliath stories, either. Take the Gunner Kiel story. He got a second chance at Cincinnati after flaming out at Notre Dame. And how about Aaron Golub, the blind long snapper for Tulane?
Both stories will give fans reason to cheer when the season kicks off in September, but which is the better feel-good story for this fall? Let's take a look.
The Case For Gunner Kiel
Kiel had it all coming out of high school. He was All-American, the winner of the Indiana Mr. Football Award and the nation's top quarterback recruit, according to Rivals.com. So when he signed with Notre Dame, it appeared he was en route to the NFL.
But nothing panned out the way he planned. He didn't play as well as the Fighting Irish coaches had expected and he slowly got pushed down the depth chart. Before long, the only snaps he was getting were with the scout team.
That's when he made the decision to transfer to Cincinnati, and things began to look up. He focused more on school, continued to get his practice reps in, and made some good connections, both on and off the field. Now a sophomore, Kiel is itching for August to arrive so he can finally play in a game.
It’s been a long road for the Indiana kid, but with two years of practicing at the collegiate level under his belt, Kiel is ready to show the college football world that All-American swag he had coming out of high school.
The Case For Aaron Golub
Golub doesn’t only want to make the Tulane football team, he longs to play in a game. That might seem normal for any college football player, but it’s different with Golub. That’s because he is legally blind. Amazingly, that hasn’t slowed him down.
According to 247Sports.com, Golub was the 12th-best long snapper in the nation coming out of high school, but not many teams took a chance on him because of his disability. Now the walk-on at Tulane plans on beating the odds by earning playing time.
It’s not going to be all smooth sailing for Golub, but he has lots of fans, including Green Wave coaches, who believe he will overcome the adversity.
We see stories every year about players getting a second chance with another team. But it’s not typical to hear one about a blind football player. Golub’s story is remarkable. It’s not like the Tulane coaches are putting him on the team because they want to make him feel like he is part of something; it’s because he is a good football player.
If Golub makes the team as a walk-on, he will become the first legally blind college football to letter. That’s pretty incredible.