According to an unnamed scout, Notre Dame quarterback prospect DeShone Kizer is a “pure millennial.”
Whatever that means.
“I have no idea,” Kizer said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney, laughing. “When that comment came out, all I could say was, ‘Yeah, I am a pure millennial. Yeah, I was born in 1996.’ That’s about it. You can interpret that in so many different ways. But I’m just ready to go play ball. That’s just kind of a bad situation for some of the guys who are heading to this pre-draft process. It’s people’s jobs to try to figure out how they can devalue us. We’re some of the best guys playing college football and that’s the reason we decided to go. Now they’re just trying to find ways that they can try to pull us down. So I guess being a pure millennial, if that means having a Twitter and an Instagram and a Snapchat and using it, for sure, I’m a pure millennial.”
He’s also a supremely talented quarterback – even if his college coach, Brian Kelly wanted him to stay in South Bend for another season. Kizer, though, said that Kelly’s comments – that Kizer would benefit from another year of schooling – didn’t hurt his value.
“I don’t think he hurt me,” Kizer said. “I think he was candid and honest – like everyone else has been candid and honest in this process. It’s true that I haven’t gotten my degree yet and there is some time for me to go out there and get better. He wanted it to be at Notre Dame, as I would expect him to. I’m the starting quarterback for the last two years, and he definitely put a lot into me and was expecting me to be around for a couple more years. But for me, this decision was based more upon my personal development and me trying to achieve my goals and dreams.”
Kizer certainly isn’t the shyest of quarterback prospects, recently comparing himself to Tom Brady and Cam Newton. Kizer, at 6-4 and 233 pounds, said the statement was taken out of context.
“The way that the quote was dropped was ‘I am Tom Brady’ and ‘I am Cam Newton.’ It was more what I aspire to be,” Kizer explained. “If you’re going to model yourself after any of them, model yourself after the best doing what they’re doing. Obviously Tom Brady has had quite a bit of success in the last few years and has played in multiple Super Bowls and won multiple Super Bowls. There’s a notion that he prepares better than anyone else out there and he understands this offense and goes against the defenses way better than anyone else out there doing it. That’s why he has Super Bowls to show for it. And obviously Cam Newton is known as one of the best athletes in the world. So if I can set those guys as my goals to try to get to, if you’re going to play a game, why not go out there to be the greatest? I don’t want to come in and be the most average brain and the most average body. I want to strive to be the greatest. I have all the confidence in the world that if I go out there and continue to work the way I know how to work and keep this process that I’ve had in the last couple of months, then I will one day achieve the goals of winning multiple Super Bowls.”
Kizer, 21, said “there’s no doubt in my mind that I’m ready” to be an NFL quarterback.
“After going through this last two months of preparing myself and then figuring out some of the fixes I need to make to be a more consistent passer, I’m more confident than ever in throwing the ball,” he said. “As far as understanding defenses and protections and having the intellect and smarts to be able to pick up an NFL offense, I don’t know if there’s a better guy out there capable of this transition the way that I am.”
Tiki Barber, meanwhile, gave Kizer some grief for coming off the bench to beat Virginia in September 2015. Kizer threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to Will Fuller with 12 seconds to go to give Notre Dame a 34-27 road win over Barber’s alma mater.
“I’ve always had the ball in my hand,” Kizer said. “For the last 10 years of my life, playing every sport I’ve ever played, I’ve always had the ball in my hand, whether it be a point guard or pitcher. I want the ball in my hand when the game is on the line. That was just my first opportunity to show it at the next level. I was able to go out there and (do) what I’ve always done.”