Tyree Kinnel is feeling the love from Michigan, and lately he has been returning it. The Huber Heights (OH) Wayne sophomore has visited Ann Arbor five times in the past year, and each one of the experiences has proven extremely memorable. That said, the last two may stand out a bit thanks to the increased opportunity he had to interact with the Wolverine coaches.
“(The visit during the basketball season) was nice,” Kinnel said reflecting upon his March 10th trip. “I liked it. I liked the facilities, the basketball game was good, and I like the coaching staff. I talked to most of the coaching staff. We talked about (a lot of) things and it was pretty good.”
Brady Hoke was not in town during that visit, but when Kinnel made it back to the Great Lake State earlier this week, Michigan’s headman was there to greet him.
“It was nice,” Kinnel stated. “I got to watch their practice and meet Coach Hoke. He talked about how he heard a lot about me and that he wants me to come up and visit them some more. He asked me how practice was and if we liked it. My dad and his friend brought me up. They loved it too… the practice facility, the practice… they had a good time.”
“The whole defense actually was impressive today. I like how they swarm to the ball very and played very hard and fast. The whole defense was good.”
Once off the field, Michigan’s defensive coaches spent time chatting with 6-0 190-lb. defensive back about how he might fit in if he were to wind up in Ann Arbor.
“I talked to Coach Mattison and Coach Mallory,” he recalled. “Mattison said that I was getting bigger, that he likes my size, and that he wants me to come back up and visit some more. Coach Mallory really loves what I can do on the field. He likes how I play. He wants me to play safety for them. He said just keep doing what I’m doing and I’ll be there.”
“Coach Smith is recruiting me, but Coach Mallory…every time I go up there me and him talk the most. It’s real good. I like him. He likes me. It’s pretty cool. It’s a good relationship.”
The Wolverines haven’t yet extended a scholarship offer, but that hasn’t hindered their strong early standing in Kinnel’s recruitment. Their ability to get off to such a good may have been impacted positively by his open-minded recruiting approach. Unlike many other Buckeye State prospects, Kinnel doesn’t have a lifelong allegiance to the Scarlet & Gray.
“I just grew up liking football,” he explained. “I was a college fan. I’m not a big team fan for anybody… especially with recruiting coming around.”
“(Ohio State) is giving me some (attention). I just got back from visiting there last week. They’re showing me a little bit.”
Kinnel plans to camp in Columbus this summer and will also camp for the second consecutive year in Ann Arbor. No other visit plans are set currently, but that could change in the coming months. For now the talented youngster is patiently awaiting his first scholarship offer while he spends time learning more about the programs courting him. And while he says he hasn’t yet established a leaderboard, one school is sticking out early.
Said Kinnel, “I don’t really have a favorite, (but) I guess Michigan would be a favorite as of right now because they (showing) the most interest as of right now.”