The golden helmets, “Touchdown Jesus,” and the winning tradition of Notre Dame have been in Rashad Kinlaw’s sights since he was a child watching the Fighting Irish on television.
The Absegami High School junior will be a part of the university in the fall of 2013.
Kinlaw verbally committed to Notre Dame on March 26 after a weekend visit to South Bend, Indiana.
“Growing up I always wanted to go there,” said Kinlaw, who was recruited as a cornerback. “When they offered, it was a no-brainer.”
“They have a desperate need for corners,” Absegami coach Dennis Scuderi Jr. said. “Notre Dame is Notre Dame. At the end of the day, they are one of the best football schools in the country. ... And he will gain exposure from being on national TV, which will help him with life after college whether it be the NFL, which sounds far-fetched (to some), but it is Notre Dame so it’s not far-fetched, or in the business world.”
Kinlaw’s visit over the weekend only cemented the fact that he wanted to continue his playing career at Notre Dame.
“I’m really excited,” he said. “I can’t wait. It was a very good campus. You have a lot of tradition there.”
Kinlaw hopes to add to that tradition. The program is in need of corners, and Kinlaw believes he will fit right in.
“It’s the best position for me at college,” Kinlaw said.
Kinlaw will play that position for the Braves next season, as well as returning to the quarterback position. Kinlaw broke a bone in his leg early in the 2011 season, but the junior said he is back to 100 percent.
Kinlaw will compete this spring on the track and work out with a personal
trainer to get back into playing shape.
“I’m glad the process is over,” Kinlaw explained. “I just have to worry
about what I want to do when I get there and get ready for next year’s football season.”
“I think he is more relieved than I am. The best part for me is I don’t have to deal with as many phone calls at night so it’s better for me in a selfish way,” Scuderi said.
However, the Absegami coach also hopes that Kinlaw’s commitment leads to more opportunities for his teammates.
“It opens the doors for other kids to get exposure from people being at our games,” he explained. “Some people think the whole recruiting process is a bad thing when you have one guy being recruited at that high level, but it can lead to interest in other kids.
"It can open the door for them, maybe not Notre Dame, but maybe someone from Notre Dame sees one of our kids and tells his buddy and passes information along. That can help and be great for everybody involved."