Michigan has lost another member of its 2010 recruiting class, as Dave Birkett at AnnArbor.com is reporting that Youngstown (Ohio) Liberty LB Antonio Kinard will enroll in a prep school or junior college this fall after failing to qualify academically for Michigan:
Jeff Whittaker, the coach at Youngstown (Ohio) Liberty, said Sunday that linebacker Antonio Kinard is weighing three options for this fall, playing football at prep schools Fork Union or Hargrave military academies, or signing with a junior college in Kansas.
“He’s looking at it like it’ll be his redshirt year,” Whittaker said. “It just won’t be at the university and then he’ll be able to get it in order and finish this test and get back on track coming up.”
The 6-foot-4, 195-pound Kinard was considered a long shot to qualify when he signed with Michigan in February. At the time, Wolverines coach Rich Rodriguez said Kinard still had work to do in the classroom.
Whittaker said one holdup with Kinard’s eligibility was passing a portion of the Ohio Graduation Tests, a requirement in the state of Ohio. Still, Kinard hopes to attend Michigan in 2011.
“T.K. loves the University of Michigan,” Whittaker said. “The only goal in his life right now is to get through this and play at the University of Michigan. He’s had other Division I programs, which I’m not going to name, call him and want him to look at their universities. Big-time programs. They wanted to set him up with different schools and what not. His focus has not deviated one bit from the University of Michigan. He truly loves Coach Rodriguez and the University of Michigan.”
Although Kinard, a three-star inside linebacker according to Rivals.com, wasn’t expected to immediately contribute upon hitting campus, this is still a tough break for Michigan, who loses another player at a position of great need. Hopefully, Kinard can get his academics in line this year and make it in to Michigan next fall (a la Marques Slocum), but as Touch the Banner points out, few Michigan recruits who fail to initially qualify ever actually make it to campus — like Demar Dorsey, Adrian Witty, Marcus Witherspoon, and Quinton Woods, who all resurfaced at other Division I schools.
And yes, you read that right: Demar Dorsey has landed at another school. As mentioned in the same AnnArbor.com article linked above, Dorsey will enroll at Louisville in the fall. First-year head coach Charlie Strong and defensive coordinator Vance Bedford recruited Dorsey when they were coaching at Florida, the school Dorsey originally committed to before ultimately choosing Michigan on signing day. After Dorsey was released from his LOI to Michigan, he was free to choose any school that would take him, and clearly he still has a strong relationship with the coaches who originally recruited him at Florida. I’ll be pulling hard for Dorsey to succeed at Louisville, although it is still very disappointing that things couldn’t work out for him here in Ann Arbor.