Michigan's junior day netted a few commitments while this site was busy hoping the world didn't cave in the day before the NCAA tournament was selected.
Antonio Kinard is a 6'4", 200 pound linebacker from Youngstown Ohio. He committed to Michigan over the weekend. The details:
It's too early for all but the most preliminary rankings; basically all we have to go on is that he's not in Rivals' initial top 250. He's #22 in the state to Ohio High magazine, for whatever that's worth.
Well, the evidence here is flimsier than normal: there's no scouting reports and only one ranking, that from a local, not national source. Preliminary indications—the Ohio High ranking and lack of other offers—are that Kinard will be a three-star sort. If the potential Penn State and Ohio State offers were
While that's not ideal, Michigan was familiar with Kinard after recruiting a couple of his Youngstown Liberty teammates and was quick to offer, so they obviously thought he was a talent they shouldn't wait on. One thing seems assured: a redshirt. Kinard is 6'4" and 200 pounds, so unless he puts on a ton of weight this year he'll need to bulk up some once he arrives if he's going to be effective.
UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS
It's unclear what position Kinard is slotted in: it could be linebacker either inside or outside or DE—as Varsity Blue notes, Greg Robinson's schemes often deploy a "spinner" who's a hybrid DE/OLB. Kinard's also the first defensive commit of any sort, so he won't affect Michigan's recruiting going forward. They'll still pursue TX LB Caleb Lavey and so forth and so on.
I liked what RR said at the presser on signing day. Not word for word but basically he said he does not care how rivals ranks these kids or how many stars they have he just wants the kids that he feels are a good fit for the team. He said that he cares more that they are going to work hard and be smart enough then whether or not they have 5 stars.
OSU is pretty stacked at LB, so a lack of an offer from them probably only means that he's not an elite prospect. He could still be a very good one...I've been told that a good amount of OSU recruiting watchers thought Isaiah Bell was a hell of a player but OSU just didn't have room for him.
"All of the doughnuts have names that sound like prostitutes."
I have a feeling RichRod and his staff spend maybe 3 or 4 seconds on recruiting-websites every year. And that's probably only when they accidentally click on a link before they realize they've gone to a site unintentionally.
There's usually a guy in the athletic department who spends at least part of his day cruising around the internet and looking at updates. Rodriguez himself (and the other coaches) might not visit Rivals or Scout, but they're told the important developments.
Seems a bit early in the process to be offering 3-star projects, don't you think? And from the looks of this kid's tape, he seems to be just that. Maintaining loyalty to a school is one thing, but shouldn't you offer this type of guy later in the recruiting process?
While there are many UM fans buying into the "Well, the guy may not have any other offers, but with a lil chocolate milk and Barwis, he'll be great" theorum, I'm not so sure. Sure, Rich Rod may say he don't care 'bout no stars 'n sich, I'm not so sure.
What I'd like to see is some of this "Hey, this is MICHIGAN" stuff pay off with a dynamic new coach who knows that THIS is MICHIGAN and recruits PLAYAS instead of a roster full of diamonds in the rough. I hope Rodriguez learns that he is recruiting to Michigan and lands talent to go with what I believe are some pretty serious player development skillz. And I agree, this is kind of early to be offering kids like Kinnard, who would have been just as available in August as he was today. Can you say, "future decommit"? As in, kind of given the cold shoulder and pushed aside as the recruiting heats up and UM lands or is in position to land more talent at this position? From what I've garnered, UM has about 17 scholarships for 2010---let's do a lil cherry picking.
And oh yeah, I'm sure Rodriguex has a guy checking Scout and Rivals for "important developments"--Ahem. Maybe like the 1294th thread asking if George Morales has earned a scholrship?