Rashad Kinlaw (Cornerback, 6'2" 190)A late-March pledge following his initial visit to Notre Dame's campus, the versatile Kinlaw told Irisheyes.com recruiting analyst Brian Dohn the following regarding his decision to go, and stay Irish:
"First, it was the academics," Kinlaw said. "That really sold me, and then the tradition, and then depth-chart wise. They were telling they wanted me to come there, and if I wanted to come there, to commit right now instead of waiting too long because they offered like 16 people at my position.
"Instead of me waiting and having the chance all three spots get filled, I said I'm going to take my chance and take one of those spots."
Kinlaw indeed was the first of three cornerbacks to pledge Irish, a projection noted on these pages in March.
Veterans returning at Cornerback: Seniors Bennett Jackson (1) and Lo Wood (2), junior Josh Atkinson (2), redshirt-sophomore Jalen Brown (3), sophomores Keivarae Russell (3) and Elijah Shumate (3). Shumate could also move to safety.
Berk on Kinlaw: Injuries have not allowed us to really see the overall skill set Kinlaw will bring to Notre Dame. A position change will test the New Jersey native early. However, if he can stay away from the injury bug he'll have a chance to show the skills that made the Irish coaching staff go after his commitment hard.
Dohn on Kinlaw: The Jersey Shore product is one of the real unknowns inNotre Dame's class. Kinlaw is talented and has the speed and looseness in his hipsto play cornerback, but he the size to be a safety. The issue is he has barelyplayed since his sophomore season because of back-to-back leg injuries.
O'Malley's Initial SlottingHe's flipping sides of scrimmage.
Kinlaw possesses tremendous straight-line speed for his size, Kinlaw reportedly ran a 4.4 forty-yard dash at a Rutgers camp as a junior quarterback. Therein lies the rub. Kinlaw has no experience as a corner, playing a bit of safety as a high school senior after returning from a broken leg.
While Irish fans will immediately point to last year's freshman All-America KeiVarae Russell making a similar transition, its important to note Russell is the exception, not the rule.
I expect Kinlaw to serve as a scout team defensive back, mainly cornerback, but with the staff open to a possible more to a very crowded safety position in the future. (Both CB and S have eight competitors with Elijah Shumate a potential ninth for both entering spring 2013.)
Kinlaw will begin at cornerback when he hits campus, but when developing a neophyte defender, nothing is set in stone. As a high school quarterback, his inherent knowledge of what an offense is trying to accomplish can't hurt his initial immersion into Bob Diaco's defensive scheme.
At 6'2" Kinlaw possesses the frame coveted by Notre Dame's staff for the cornerback position.
Links of Note: Click the links below for more highlight reels and comprehensive recruitment information for Rashad Kinlaw: