Reviewing the Redshirts is an off-season series meant to resurrect discussion around the current Irish freshmen who did not play in 2013.
There were 12 this year who retained a year of eligibility and today we take a look at a young corner looking to crack the DB rotation this fall.
Corner, Rashad Kinlaw
Hometown: Galloway, New Jersey
247Sports COMPOSITE RANKING:
3-star, No. 16 ATH, No. 13 NJ, No. 365 USA, 0.8827 score
Need at Position: Moderate
Expected Spot on the 2014 Depth Chart: Solid Backup
Kinlaw is the type of 3-star kid you love to have in your program. He's hyper-athletic, offers some positional flexibility if needed, and flew under the radar in high school due to some unfortunate injuries.
Maybe he's been a forgotten man from the 2013 class due to Cole Luke and Devin Butler seeing the field but remember this is OFD Recruiting Commissar Jim Miesle's darkhorse defender from last cycle. While it looks like either Luke or Butler are going to slide into a starting role next season opposite KeiVarae Russell there's still plenty of opportunity for Kinlaw on defense.
At any rate, Kinlaw should immediately be one of the first redshirts moved to the coverage team. So with how things went in 2013 that's no small job.
Kinlaw's playing time may depend on a couple rising seniors in Jalen Brown and Josh Atkinson. The former has seen enough snaps in the past to merit strong consideration in 2013 but he was almost entirely passed on the depth chart last season by Luke and Butler. Meanwhile, Atkinson was moved to receiver during the fall and who knows if he even returns to corner.
Now, the highly rated Nick Watkins is coming in as a freshman and he may offer stiff competition as well. The coaching staff has proven they aren't afraid to play true freshmen at corner so this is a very real possibility.
At worst, Kinlaw is probably the 6th corner while being a mainstay on special teams.
However, I think he'll have a great opportunity to move to the 4th corner spot and get some solid playing time. I also wouldn't eliminate the possibility that Kinlaw gets involved in the return game in some fashion either.