In the 2018 class the Indiana coaching staff is looking for long, athletic offensive tackle prospects, and one lineman they recently extended an offer to is Darian Kinnard. The 6-foot-7, 335-pound standout from St. Ignatius H.S. in Cleveland spoke to Peegs.com about the Hoosiers, and about where things stand with his recruiting at this time.
With the offer from IU the three-star recruit currently has offers from Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Purdue, Boston College, Cincinnati, Iowa State, Kentucky, Pittsburgh, UCLA, West Virginia, Central Michigan, Toledo and Texas State. Kinnard said that he wants to learn more about the Indiana program after picking up that offer.
"I have never been there for a visit, but I did see them play last year when I was at Ohio State for an unofficial visit," he said about IU. "They seem like they have a great ball club, but I don’t know a lot about them. They just offered me out of nowhere so it was kind of a shocker."
The message that Kinnard has received from the IU coaches is they believe he has a chance to make an immediate impact if he decided to play for the Hoosiers.
"They like my size," he said when asked what Indiana has been saying to him. "They have talked about how they have some big guys, but they don’t have very many guys in my range, which is around 6’6, that can play left tackle. They told me that if I did go there I would have a chance to make an impact as a freshman. So that’s pretty cool that they want me to make an impact as soon as I would come in."
The Cleveland native said that he plans on making it over to Bloomington this summer for an unofficial visit, and when he is there he wants to get a feel for the connection between the coaching staff and the players.
"I am trying to do most of my visits this summer because that is when I will have the most amount of free time," Kinnard said about a potential visit to IU. "It is just tough now because the school year is so busy and I’m busy with football and other sports. So it will probably be in the summer when I go there for a visit. I want to see how the atmosphere is and how the players interact with each other. I also want to see the relationship between the coaches and the players. Is it more of a mentor kind of thing or is it just a business relationship. I also want to check out the campus and the facilities."
This past fall the talented offensive lineman was a key player for a St. Ignatius team that had an outstanding 2016 season as they made it to the Division I State Championship.
"As a team we went 13-2," he said about his junior year. "We lost both games in overtime. The first one was to a team out of Michigan, and the second was in the state championship against St. Xavier, and that game went to double-overtime. I think our team did very well. Individually I felt like I made a lot of improvements, and I just have to keep that up. The biggest thing I think I improved on was my knowledge of the game like knowing defensive sets and knowing where the guy I was lined up on was going to be. I got better at communicating with the guard next to me and adjusting to certain calls that the quarterback would make."
Kinnard, who wants to major in sports science or be a sports physician, said he is not sure when he will end his recruitment, but when he does he sees Indiana as a school that will be in the mix for his commitment.
"I’m not really sure when I will have my recruitment over with," he said. "I am mainly just focused on this year coming up. Indiana has a good shot with me."