Name: Tyree Kinnel
Kinnel is a 24/7 composite four star safety from Dayton, OH that has been committed to the Wolverines since Augus 2014. Kinnel has held stead fast in his commitment through the rough months that were the 2014 season and the firing of Brady Hoke. Kinnel was being looked at by the likes of Tennessee, Notre Dame and Ohio State, and drew offers from four other schools (MSU, Arkansas, Kentucky, Notre Dame). Kinnel is a throw back, not coming off the field on defense and playing all special teams in high school. I see him fitting in just fine in Coach Durkin’s system, and after extensively watching his tape I could not be happier he has stuck with his commitment.
Projected Position: Strong Safety
Kinnel is a stout six-foot nothing. You would like to see just another inch or two of height here for a defensive back that will be asked to play closer to the line of scrimmage, but he will not be marked down too much for not having it. Already at 205 pounds, he has the size to bang with lineman and full backs at the second level and I am sure he will only continue to grow once he gets on campus and works with SC coach Tolbert.
Technique/Foot Work: B
Here is where you’ll find Kinnel’s lowest grade. By no means is his athleticism sub par, it is simply not spectacular. Kinnel has decent back pedal speed, although his form is a little tall for my liking. He can get out of his back pedal quickly to break on a route or fill an alley, but there certainly are players out there that can do it more impressively. Kinnel would benefit from an entire off-season in Ann Arbor, but unfortunately we will not see him until the fall.
Kinnel has been clocked as fast as 4.40 in the forty, and it shows on film. Being a gunner on punt and kickoff, Kinnel blazes past blockers to make a big play for his team. He is athletic enough to avoid blocks weather its at the point of attack or in the open field. This kid can get anywhere he needs to on the field, usually unblocked. Vision is not something usually talked about with defensive players, but Kinnel has it. He takes the least obstructed route to the ball carrier in his pursuit and its fun to watch. Once he sees his opening to the ball, he’s like a predator taking down a wounded animal.
Run Support: A
Kinnel’s tape shows him playing against mostly “Air Force” style option teams, which is an amazing experience for a safety to learn to play the run. Kinnel is fantastic in run support, he is physical enough to come up in the box and take on lineman and is fast enough to beat the running back to the alley. His acceleration allows him to slow play the first two options (Fullback, Quarterback) then backdoor the running back after he receives the pitch. Kinnel’s tackling form is phenomenal as well, overall he plays the run as well as I’ve seen a high school safety.
Pass Coverage: B+
While Kinnel did not have a lot of opportunities to play the pass, he made of the most of the ones he had. It is difficult to be disciplined when playing an option team, but Kinnel does a fine job reading his keys and getting to his coverage area. He plays smart, after reading his keys and picking up his receiver, he will follow the quarterback’s eyes, which will often lead to him getting an interception. Kinnel has great ball skills as well, going up and high pointing the ball over receivers who are often taller than him.
Kinnel is the most ready of the Michigan commits at this point. His technique is very fundamentally sound, and I’m sure it will only get better once coach Zordich and Jackson get a hold of him. A true Midwest kid, he wont shy away from anyone once fall camps rolls around. If the coaches like him enough and he can grasp the scheme right away, Kinnel could see playing time early on. I would be surprised to see him red shirted, as he could be a force on special teams from the get go. Not being early enrolled is definitely a negative however, if he were to be on campus already I would put money on him getting some early PT on defense. I loved watching this kids tape and I am sure I will love watching him in Ann Arbor for years to come.