Kinlaw first of three?

New Jersey athlete Rashad Kinlaw is the first of (at least?) three cornerbacks the Irish will attempt to sign for the 2013 recruiting cycle.

Less than three months ago, it appeared Notre Dame's 2012 recruiting class would include two of the nation's best. But Ronald Darby reconsidered his commitment near the New Year; Tee Shepard left the University at the semester break, and suddenly, head coach Brian Kelly was left with four scholarship cornerbacks and a running back/athlete eager to learn the position heading into the spring.

The 2013 cycle promises multiple cornerback commitments (the staff says three, I'm not sure why they'd turn down a solid fourth), and the first to offer his pledge is Absegami High (Absecon, N.J.) athlete, Rashad Kinlaw.

A high school quarterback who missed the bulk of his junior season with a broken leg, Kinlaw will play cornerback in South Bend. He'll receive a one-year apprenticeship next fall in the defensive backfield, playing safety (as well as QB) for Absegami.

Ranked as a three-star running back by Scout.com, Kinlaw will join what is, at present, an inexperienced quintet of cornerbacks in 2013.

2013 Cornerbacks Depth

Players are listed in terms of their eligibility entering Kinlaw's freshman season of 2013,

Senior Bennett Jackson: The presumed boundary starter next fall with two years of eligibility remaining (through 2013). Jackson is the closest thing to a sure-starter and likely impact player the team has among its untested corners this spring.

Senior Lo Wood: Also eligible through 2013; it's a make-or-break season for Wood, who began his career as a January 2010 enrollee and was lauded by the coaching staff for his practice habits throughout his first months at the University.

Junior Josh Atkinson: Earned a monogram last season as a member of the coverage units. Along with his brother George and Bennett Jackson (above) ranks as one of the fastest straight-liners on the 2012 roster. Atkinson is eligible through 2014 and noted today after practice that he's working at Boundary cornerback at present, though he could see time at the Field spot later in camp.

Junior Jalen Brown: Withheld from action last season and is thus eligible through 2015. With Atkinson (and Jackson) at the Boundary spot, Brown is presumed to be working vs. Lo Wood as a Field cornerback competitor this spring.

Junior Cam McDaniel: Made the switch from running back to cornerback within the last few weeks. McDaniel played last year and eventually earned a starting spot on the kick return team (as a blocker). Expect to see the talented Texan on each of the squad's four "run teams" (specialty units) as he learns the cornerback position. Eligible through 2014.

Freshman Rashad Kinlaw: 6'2" 180-pounder will be joined by two, if not three cornerback prospects in this recruiting cycle. One or more will be pressed into action (if only special teams) as true freshmen in 2013.

Kinlaw's quick feet could help him earn a special teams look among the Irish return teams as well.


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