- 6'3" 220
- Arizona Western College; Yuma, Arizona
There is a lot to like about Antonio Kinard in part because he really breaks the mold for what a linebacker at UC look like. If you think back to some of the more recent successful linebackers at UC, J.K. Schaffer for example, they tend to be built more like fire hydrants than light poles. Kinard is a light pole, for the position he is very tall and very rangy. Its the range that jumps out to me. There is one play, about a minute into the embedded video above that illustrates that. The opposing team runs a speed option away from him to the strength of the formation. Its a well conceived, well executed play that goes for only five yards because Kinard runs 25 yards from the near hash mark to the far numbers at a sprint to stop the ball carrier in his tracks.
There is more to like though; Kinard is a really good open field tackler, he is good on the blitz and is capable of shooting gaps in blocking schemes almost before opposing offensive linemen can get out of their stance. I don't have any doubts about Kinard's ability to contribute at this level next year. I think he will be a part of the linebacker rotation from early on.