When this season started, Shrine Bowl running back Rodney Kinlaw had two things he wanted to accomplish….2000 yards and a ring. With four games left and a little over 1600 yards and some change in rushing he is getting very close to both.
I have known Rodney since he was a very rough around the edges young sophomore backing up the likes of Gavan Varner, Jamaal Calloway and Josh Stackley. He got to play more than most underclassman and really did not come to anyone's attention until one memorable night down in Hilton Head when he ripped off 154 yards on 12 carries and 4 touchdowns. That is when I, along with a lot of other people sat up and took notice of this young mans potential.
He progressed in a backup role the rest of the year and finished up with a bunch of people including me chomping at the bits to see him in a starting role the next season.
Unfortunately for him he suffered through most of last year with a severely bruised thigh muscle and ended up sitting out what was supposed to be a record setting track season.
Well, if anyone doubted his health coming into this season, those worries were quickly dispelled as he exploded right from the start and has amassed over 1600 yards rushing and 25 touchdowns and over 10 yards per carry average. He is truly coming into the playoffs with a great momentum and with four potential games left is very likely to reach that 2000 yard mark by the end of the season if the Knights can stay in the hunt until December 7th. You may ask, what is so special about 2000 yards? Plenty of running backs have done that. But I ask you how many have had a 10+ yards per carry average in the process? Not many. That is what makes him so special. When he touches the football you never know where he will end up. You can't compare him to Summers, they are two completely different style runners. Not to mention Kinlaw runs a 4.37 to Summers 4.5.
One of the first things you notice when you talk to Rodney is his complete dedication to his team and his total understanding that if it were not for the other 10 players on the offense he would be nowhere. He really takes care of the offensive lineman and is the acknowledged leader on that field when the offense is in.
And lastly what folks are most likely very interested in is where is he going to commit? Well, just let me say that he is keeping his options wide open. He is doing a very good job of keeping the wolves at bay on that issue but look for him to make a serious decision between an in state program and one up north. Everywhere he is thinking of going has offered and his grades are very good so qualification will not be a problem. If I had to guess I would say it will come down to Clemson, Penn St. and Virginia Tech. He says he is moderately interested in South Carolina, but the gamecocks better turn up the heat if they want his services.