Former Wisconsin running back Caleb Kinlaw had a chance to transfer to South Carolina and join Bobby Bentley’s running back room as a walk-on earlier this spring.
Instead, the No. 39-ranked running back in the class of 2014 spent this past season Pearl River Community College in Mississippi, where he rushed 34 times for 150 yards and a touchdown in six games.
“Recently, probably about a month or so ago, I ended up talking to (Bentley) again and we just started the process from there, officially,” Kinlaw said.
Kinlaw, a 3-star recruit out of Goose Creek (S.C.) High School, redshirted during his first season at Wisconsin before playing in one game in 2015. Coming out of Pearl River, most of his offers were from FCS schools.
“But, as far as FBS, a lot of schools were kind of in the same boat as Carolina,” Kinlaw said. “They couldn’t offer me mid-year, they would have to wait until May, because they didn’t have any scholarship offers for running backs. The ones that they had, they’d already given them away already.”
At Pearl River, Kinlaw was limited by a series of “nagging” injuries.
“I only had two games where I really played, played, then in other games, they used me sparingly, just to save me a little bit, so nothing got worse,” Kinlaw said. “They just didn’t have the resources to do the things that they needed to do for me, so they tried to keep me as healthy as possible and do that by allowing me to still get a little bit of playing time.”
Injuries have played a significant part in keeping Kinlaw’s college career from taking off the way he’d hoped. At Wisconsin, he underwent three surgeries. The first repaired a hernia and abdominal injury that he played with as a senior in high school. The others were hip and shoulder procedures.
Heading into his junior year, Kinlaw feels good, physically.
“I feel like I’ve gotten a lot faster. The last summer, when I was at Wisconsin, I got much faster,” he said, “So I’m trying to get back there. At that time, I was probably my fastest.”
Kinlaw, who weighed about 185 pounds coming out of high school, said he’s up to 208-210 pounds.
Not so fast, my friend
Just because Yusuf Corker is committed to Kentucky, a decision he announced on Monday, that doesn’t mean he’s ready to close the door on his other suitors.
The 3-star cornerback from Woodland High School in Stockbridge, Ga. committed to the Wildcats over South Carolina, Tennessee and Michigan State.
Also, notably in that Corker Q&A: UK commitment was to 'secure a spot' and he will still take three officials https://t.co/8Wez5EaiYk
— Justin Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) December 26, 2016
In December, he took official visits to Kentucky and Michigan State, but he has not been to South Carolina or Tennessee for an official.
— Jesse Re Simonton (@JesseReSimonton) December 26, 2016
All rankings and ratings are based on the 247Sports composite, unless otherwise indicated.