Antonio Kinard, Wolverine

Tag: 2010 Recruiting

15Mar 2009
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Antonio Kinard, Wolverine

Antonio Kinard, a 6’4″, 210 lb. linebacker from Liberty High School in Youngstown, Ohio, has committed to Michigan. Soon-to-be freshmen Isaiah Bell and Fitzgerald Toussaint were his teammates at Liberty.

At this point, Kinard is relatively unknown. He’s unrated by the recruiting services, and the only offer he’s reported was Michigan’s. With his size and athleticism, though, I expect he’ll be a 3-star originally with a mid-4-star ceiling as the recruiting cycle goes along.

Kinard’s size suggests that he’ll either be a strongisde linebacker or a defensive end in college. He has good speed and sheds blocks pretty well. Playing linebacker in high school, he has the athleticism to drop back into coverage. His ball skills bode well for playing linebacker in college. He finished the 2008 season with 86 tackles, including 6 sacks.

However, he has the frame to eventually carry 245 pounds or so. On film he looks every bit of 6’4″ and he might not be done growing. It’s rare for college linebackers to be 6’4″ or taller. My guess is that he’ll be a weakside defensive end by the end of his career at Michigan. He doesn’t have the instincts to succeed at linebacker. He’s a little tentative when filling the hole and takes bad angles when chasing ballcarriers; this works in high school because of his superior skills, but if his fundamentals don’t improve, he’ll get burned by college players who are talented in their own right.

Kinard’s height, build, and speed remind me of Shawn Crable. I’d rank Kinard’s skills slightly behind Crable’s in high school, but there’s plenty of room for growth. I think Kinard will eventually be a defensive starter, but perhaps not until he’s in his third year or so. His body and his fundamentals need a few years to develop.

15Mar 2009
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D.J. Williamson, Wolverine

D.J. Williamson, a wide receiver from Harding High School in Warren, Ohio, committed to Michigan on Friday morning. He had been saying for a while that there was a good chance he’d commit at Junior Day. He wasn’t lying.

Williamson isn’t ranked by Scout or in the Rivals 250, so it’s unclear exactly where he fits by their evaluations. It’s hard to believe that a kid who’s 6’1″, 172 lbs., and very fast will be anything less than a 3-star. Then again, it’s hard to believe that a kid who only had 30 catches for 365 yards and 3 TD’s will be more than a 3-star. So I’m guessing he’ll be a 3-star recruit, at least until his senior season starts.

Harding High School produces a lot of quality talent, including former Wolverines Carl Diggs, Prescott Burgess, and Mario Manningham. Williamson grew up a Michigan fan and should stick with his commitment through thick and thin.

If he reminds me of any Michigan player from the last decade, it would be Carl Tabb. He has good straight-line speed but isn’t very elusive. He has the speed to play slot receiver and the size to play outside receiver; he could also play cornerback, so he offers some flexibility. He will most likely be a mid-level recruit. I don’t expect him to ever be a star, but he could be a serviceable player at Michigan.

This gives Michigan four wide receivers in the class of 2010. With only two wide receivers graduating this coming year (Greg Mathews and Laterryal Savoy), Rodriguez is doing more than replenishing the position. He’s trying to stockpile skill position players. On top of that, two of these receivers – Williamson and Jerald Robinson – have the ability to play in the defensive backfield. I don’t expect all four of these receivers to remain at that position for their entire careers, and I would not be surprised to see one of these guys either decommit or be informed that he’ll be playing defense instead.

14Mar 2009
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Scouting Report: Austin White, RB – Livonia, MI

This is the beginning of a series of scouting reports on Michigan targets that will continue throughout the recruiting cycle. The first scouting report will be on Austin White. It has been rumored that he committed to Michigan on Junior Day, but that is unsubstantiated and will be treated as such. That being said, if he does in fact commit, this scouting report will hopefully be informative.

Height: 6’1″
Weight: 186 lbs.
Position: Running back
School: Stevenson High School in Livonia, MI
40 Yard Dash: 4.44 (reported)
Vertical: 33″

Notes: Holds offers from Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue, and Wisconsin (among others) . . . Rushed for 1,610 yards and 28 TD’s as a junior in 2008 . . . Caught 21 passes for 310 yards and 4 TD’s as a junior in 2008 . . . Two older brothers walked on to Michigan State football team . . . #3 player in Michigan, according to . . . Wears #23

Scouting report: Catches the ball well out of the backfield and downfield . . . Catches with his hands, not with his body . . . Runs with a natural body lean . . . Has good speed, but not a gamebreaker . . . Stays low in and out of cuts . . . Hops too much in the backfield and needs to refine his footwork . . . Solid runner who falls forward when tackled but doesn’t break enough tackles . . . Needs to run with more purpose . . . Does not have the speed or moves to be a finesse runner . . . Above average balance allows him to make solid upfield cuts without wasted steps or motion . . . Has the necessary tools to succeed as a read option back or lined up as a wide receiver in the spread offense . . . Plays in Pro “I” offense in high school . . . Needs to work on reading the fullback’s block out of the “I” formation

Projection: White will be a solid but unspectacular back in a BCS-level program.

Reminds me of: Jerome Jackson