Kinlaw Becomes a Lion #9

Stratford HS running back Rodney Kinlaw became Penn State verbal #9 on Friday afternoon when he announced for the Nittany Lions. Rodney talks to about his decision to play for Penn State.

Name: Rodney Kinlaw
Position: RB
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 186 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.36 at Clemson camp
Bench Press: 315 pounds
School: Stratford HS, Goose Creek, SC

On Friday afternoon, Stratford HS star runningback, Rodney Kinlaw, announced publicly that he would sign his letter of intent with the Nittany Lions. Penn State's ninth public verbal, Rodney picked Penn State over Virginia Tech. LionNews caught up with Rodney on Sunday to talk a little about his commitment.

When did he know Penn State was the school he wanted to attend for the next four or five seasons?

"I made my decision Friday afternoon, but I've known for probably a few days before that."

Although Rodney's older sister attends school at Virginia Tech, she did not put any undo pressure on him to choose the Hoakies. Rodney rated his official visits to both Penn State and Virginia Tech as 10 and a halfs, so what factor finally pushed the Nittany Lions in front of Virginia Tech?

"Just mainly the education. I love both schools, so it was a hard decision."

Rodney has run track for his high school in previous springs, but this year he will sit out the track season in order to get himself physically ready for the pounding of college football.

"I want to gain weight for college. I want to get to about 200. I think the reason I haven't gained weight is because I ran all year track."

Currently, Kinlaw is 5'10'' and weighs 186 pounds. In place of track, Rodney plans to work out with Robert Smith, his former Junior Olympics coach and current personal trainer.

Penn State has told Rodney they want to use him as a "versatile back or a speed back."

Although Stratford HS relied mainly on the run this season (he had only 4 passes thrown to him), Rodney feels one of his strengths is catching the ball out of the backfield, an important ingredient in Penn State's offense.

Rodney was not able to attend any Penn State games this fall because of some bad luck. He and his family originally intended to come up for the Nebraska game but his father was involved in a minor traffic accident and they had to delay their plans. He then could not make his initial official visit due to an ice storm in South Carolina.

However, Rodney is no stranger to State College. The nephew of former Penn State All-American defensive end, Courtney Brown, Rodney has been to Happy Valley a number of times during his youth to watch Penn State. What does he remember about those games?

"Mainly the fans, [Penn State] has great fans."

Is Rodney satisfied with the culmination of nearly a year phone calls from coaches trying to get him to sign with their school?

"Yes. I'm happy with my decision."

(Interview by Steve Curry)

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