Ohio Linebacker Antonio Kinard, a 6-4 210lb player from Youngstown Liberty High School, has given his word to become a Michigan. Wolverine. Kinard actually committed Friday, but (free) news about his commitment didn’t come out until late yesterday. He can be considered either the 5th or 6th commitment in the class.
Kinard’s interest in Michigan, and theirs in him, can be easily determined: He’s the younger teammate of 2009 Wolverine signees Fitzgerald Toussaint and Isaiah Bell. However, Michigan fans weren’t really aware of him until even later than that. When Varsity Blue scouted a Youngstown Liberty game in October, we were almost entirely unaware of Kinard, and didn’t focus any attention on him. We did notice a standout linebacker (though we thought at the time it was 2009 linebacker Julius Ferrell), which ended up being Kinard. The Michigan staff, of course, was more diligent in their scouting, and were able to offer Kinard in January. He didn’t take long to accept, giving Michigan his verbal pledge on Junior Day.
Kinard is a tall linebacker with good athleticism. Though we we were unaware of him as a prospect when we scouted the Liberty game (though he did bust a 50-plus yard touchdown from the fullback position), He, Bell, and Toussaint were by far the most physically impressive in terms of appearance. Much of Kinard’s responsibility in high school was playing the run and rushing the passer, so those are the areas in which he excels. However, with his quickness, he should be able to learn to play the pass very well in addition to the other two. He is still a small-ish guy, so he’ll need to add strength in order to play at the college level. He has a tall frame, and may even be able to add enough weight to play a hybrid OLB/DE position, known as the “spinner” in Greg Robinson’s schemes.
Courtesy of Scouting Ohio.