DeShone Allen Kizer (born January 3, 1996) is an American football quarterback for the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and was drafted by the Browns in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft.
Kizer attended Central Catholic High School in Toledo, Ohio. Kizer was named the AP Ohio Division III co-offensive player of the year as a senior in 2013. A three-year starter, Kizer helped lead the Leprechauns high school football team to a combined 34–6 overall record in 2011–13 (8–2 in playoff games), including a 14–1 record and Ohio Division II state title in 2012. In his career, Kizer's totals included 5,684 passing yards and 56 touchdowns to go with 1,211 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns.
Considered a four-star recruit by Rivals.com, he was rated as the ninth best dual-threat quarterback prospect of his class. On June 11, 2013, Kizer announced his commitment to play college football at the University of Notre Dame.
|Name||Hometown||High school / college||Height||Weight||Commit date|
|Toledo, OH||Central Catholic HS||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)||233 lb (106 kg)||Jun 11, 2013|
|Recruiting star ratings: Scout: Rivals: 247Sports: N/A ESPN grade: 80|
|Overall recruiting rankings: Scout: 17 (QB), 2 (regional), 1 (OH), 263 (national) Rivals: 9 (QB) ESPN: 16 (QB), 12 (OH)|
Kizer started 2015 as a backup to Zaire. On September 5, in the season opener, he made his collegiate debut against Texas in relief of Zaire in the 38–3 victory. During the second game of the season against Virginia, Kizer replaced an injured Zaire and helped lead Notre Dame to a victory. With 12 seconds left, Kizer completed a 39-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Will Fuller to give Notre Dame the lead. After it was announced that Zaire would miss the rest of the season, Kizer was named the starter. On October 3, in a 24–22 loss to Clemson, he passed for a season-high 321 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception while having 15 carries for 60 yards and a rushing touchdown. Against Pitt, Kizer accounted for all six touchdowns (five passing and one rushing) helping Notre Dame to a 42–30 victory. On Halloween, in a 24–20 win over Temple, he recorded 299 passing yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions, and had a stellar night on the ground with 143 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns. Kizer and the Fighting Irish finished the 2015 regular season with a 10–2 record. On New Year's Day, Kizer and the Fighting Irish closed out their 2015 season with a 44–28 loss to Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl. In the loss, he had 284 passing yards, two touchdowns, one interception while adding 21 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown on the ground.. Overall in 2015, Kizer finished his redshirt freshman year with 2,880 passing yards, 525 rushing yards, and 31 total touchdowns in 13 games.
As a redshirt sophomore in 2016, Kizer played 12 games with 2,925 passing yards, 472 rushing yards, and 34 total touchdowns.
He started off the season with 215 passing yards, five passing touchdowns, 77 rushing yards, and a rushing touchdown in a 2OT 50–47 loss to Texas. After a victory over Nevada, he had 344 passing yards, two passing touchdowns, 14 rushing yards, and two rushing touchdowns in a 36–28 loss to Michigan State. After a loss to Duke, he had a career day through the air with 471 yards and three touchdowns in a 50–33 win over Syracuse. He put together some solid performances over the rest of the season, but the team faltered and ended up with a 4-8 record. After the 2016 season, Kizer decided to forgo the remaining two years of eligibility and enter the 2017 NFL Draft.
Kizer received an invitation to the NFL Combine and completed all of the combine drills except for the bench press. He also performed positional drills, but had a disappointing performance. He also participated at Notre Dame's Pro Day and only ran positional drills in front of team scouts and representatives, including San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch and Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley. Kizer completed 50/60 pass attempts and showed significantly better accuracy and footwork at his pro day. NFL draft experts and analysts projected him to be a first or second round pick. He was ranked the second best quarterback in the draft by NFL analyst Bucky Brooks, the third best quarterback by NFLDraftScout.com and Sports Illustrated, and was ranked the fourth best quarterback by ESPN and NFL analyst Mike Mayock.
|Ht||Wt||Arm length||Hand size||40‑yd dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20‑ss||3‑cone||Vert jump||Broad|
|6 ft 4 1⁄4 in|
|33 1⁄8 in|
|9 7⁄8 in|
|4.83 s||1.72 s||2.84 s||4.53 s||7.40 s||30 1⁄2 in|
|8 ft 9 in|
|All values from NFL Combine|
The Cleveland Browns selected Kizer in the second round (52nd overall) of the 2017 NFL Draft. On June 14, 2017, the Browns signed Kizer to a four-year, $4.94 million contract that includes $2.42 million guaranteed and a signing bonus of $1.73 million. On August 27, 2017, following the team's third preseason game, the Browns named Kizer as the starting quarterback to begin the 2017 regular season, beating out veteran trade acquisition Brock Osweiler and second-year quarterbacks Cody Kessler and Kevin Hogan.
Making his first regular season appearance on September 10, 2017, Kizer finished with 222 passing yards with a touchdown and an interception. In addition, he rushed for 17 yards and a one-yard rushing touchdown, but the Browns lost 21–18 to the Pittsburgh Steelers. He orchestrated a 12-play drive that ended when he scored on a 1–yard touchdown run. Kizer's first career passing touchdown was a three-yard pass to wide receiver Corey Coleman in the fourth quarter. He started the next four games for the Browns which were all losses. During the Week 5 game against the New York Jets, he was benched in favor of Kevin Hogan to begin the third quarter. Hogan was later named the starter for the team's Week 6 game. After Hogan's struggles in Week 6, Kizer was re-named the starter for the Week 7. Against the Tennessee Titans in Week 7, Kizer threw for 114 yards and two interceptions before being benched in favor of Cody Kessler in the third quarter. The Browns lost 12–9 in overtime. Following the game, reports surfaced Kizer was out late the Friday before the Titans game, which drew some controversy following the game.