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Returning Player Refreshers: Jaylyin Minor and Antonio Kinard

A pair of junior college finds will compete for more playing time after seeing plenty of action in their first year with the Bearcats.

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Looking for talent at the junior college level is a vital part of recruiting. While it may still pale in comparison to the importance of pulling players from high school, getting JUCO transfers presents plenty of attractive opportunities. Chief among them, prospects are more polished and usually able to come in play right away.

Two JUCO-transfers for Cincinnati’s 2015 class made an impact at linebacker, with Jaylyin Minor and Antonio Kinard each registering plenty of snaps in a rotation that featured standouts Eric Wilson and Bryce Jenkinson.

Minor, a two-star recruit out of Tyler Junior College in Tyler, Texas, played in fewer games than Kinard, but was the more productive of the two. The 6’1", 241-pound linebacker finished eighth on the team in tackles (37), with the majority of those take-downs coming as solo jobs (18). Like the rest of the defense, Minor did not make much contact on players behind the line of scrimmage, especially the quarterback, recording just a single quarterback hit and 2.5 tackles for loss.

In the final weeks of the season, Minor really became a more prominently used contributor. He started against USF (his only start of the season) and finished with at least five tackles in four of the last five games. (He did not play in the regular season finale against Eastern Carolina). In the Bearcats’ matchup with Houston, Minor finished with a season-high six tackles, including a stuffing of Cougar running back Kenneth Farrow on third down during a drive in the third quarter.

As for Kinard, the 2015 campaign featured plenty of game appearances, but not as much playing time or resulting production. The 6’4", 240-pound brick wall of a linebacker got into 11 games, but never made a start and only finished with nine tackles, with just one of those a solo effort. Of those tackles, four came in the season opener against Alabama A&M. A former three-star recruit out of Arizona Western College in Yuma, Arizona, Kinard has the build and the potential to be a bigger part of the game plan in his senior season.