Coach Brian Kelly received his 8th verbal commitment for the 2013 class today from ATH/CB Rashad Kinlaw (Absecon, NJ -- Absegami). Kinlaw is the 5th player to give his pledge following Junior Day and is listed at 6'0" and 175 lbs with a 4.40 forty yard dash time.
Kinlaw chose the Irish over offers from Rutgers, Temple, Iowa, and Boston College. He played a shortened season in 2011, suffering a broken leg midway through the schedule. While the offer list may not impress you at first look, several top programs were keeping tabs on Rashad and were looking to offer soon. He was one of the hottest under the radar prospects in the 2013 class.
He is listed as an athlete or dual-threat QB by most sites, but is being recruited to play cornerback for the Irish. He will play some corner during his senior season to help prepare.
Recruiting Service Rankings:
ESPN - Not Yet Rated
Rivals - 3 star (#31 ATH), 5.7 Grade
Scout - Not Yet Rated
247Sports - 4 star (#3 NJ, #5 ATH), 94 Grade (#81 Overall)
Highlights after the jump.
Rashad Kinlaw (junior highlights) (via 247SportsStudio)
While his YouTube highlight clip consisted mostly of designed QB keepers, it's hard not to see how special he is as an athlete. I think he could have an early impact via special teams, much in the same way that fellow Garden Stater Bennett Jackson did in 2010.
The sky is the limit for Rashad-it all comes down to working at learning the defensive coverages and scheme concepts. Assuming that he has no lingering impact from the leg injury, it is easy to see how he should compete for snaps at CB early in his career. It will be interesting to check back in the fall to see how he adjusts to learning to play DB, but plenty other high school QBs have made the shift over the years, so I don't envision that being a major hurdle moving forward.
Welcome to Notre Dame Rashad!