We know that running depth is an issue for the Fall and we know that it is a wide open competition. Heck maybe even you or I could get in on the action. For a program that has long had good running back play, it is a bit surprising to see this group have so many question marks. If in fact the Tigers take a running back by committee approach, as might be the case, the coaching staff will need to be able to adapt scheme and plays to players strengths.
One of those players who figures to be in that mix, is Corey Kiner
Kiner was one of Kevin Faulk’s first gets as running back coach. The Cincinnati native made a commitment to the Tigers in May 2020 and was a steadfast commitment through Signing Day. His final season in high school he rushed for over 1,800 yards while scoring 32 touchdowns in the process. A four-star prospect, Kiner ranked as the 160th prospect in the nation and the number ten running back in the country.
Scouting Report from Allen Trieu of 247
“Thickly built with a compact frame. Runs hard and shows good balance and ability to break tackles.Shows burst and accelerates quickly when he gets the ball. Does a good job of quickly finding lanes as well and runs with little hesitation. Has solid change of direction and ability to cut. Not a back that will make as many defenders miss as he will run through arm tackles. Play speed is better than timed or measured speed at this point. Has done well as a return man as well at the high school level. Must continue to work on his top end speed and polish pass-catching skills, but projects as a productive, starting back at the Power Five level and someone who will have an opportunity to play beyond college.”
Safe to say that Kiner will be in the mix for playing time early. That might be more out of necessity. Kiner seems to be the more refined of the freshman running backs but his physical upside does not appear to be as high. Still, there will always be the need for a player who can push the pile, and that seems to fit Kiner’s skill set well.
Having said that, I don’t think Kiner’s early seasons will be particularly productive. His scouting report does not come across as a guy who can help the Tigers early. His apparent speed issues aside, the more he can show his ability in the passing game, the faster he can make it to the field.
LSU has had a good track record of running backs waiting their turn and proving to be good if not very good as upperclassmen. Think Nick Brossette, Darrell Williams, and Terrance Magee. This is the group I’d most likely project Kiner to be in when his Tiger career is complete.
High End: See’s action early and carves out career as consistent early down, goal line back, and kick returner.
Low end: Special Teamer or transfers.
Realistic: Doesn’t see substantial action until upperclassman where he is in a consistent rotation with other backs on the roster.