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Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Three-star RB hopes for late Texas offer

By Max Olson

One in-state prospect is crossing his fingers and hoping good news starts coming his way.

Ke’aun Kinner would like nothing more than to be Texas’ final pledge for its 2013 recruiting class, but the Little Elm, Texas, three-star running back knows he’ll have to play the waiting game first.

Ke'aun Kinner
Three-star tailback Ke'aun Kinner is trying to get his test scores in order so he can earn a Longhorns offer.
“I really don’t know how it’s going to play out, but I’m hoping for the best,” he said.

The door doesn’t appear to be closed on Kinner’s hopes of becoming a Longhorn. The Texas staff had told him in December there’s a chance -- and seemingly a good one -- that they’ll offer him a scholarship and accept his pledge if he can get his academic situation squared away. That might still be the case.

Kinner took the SAT this weekend and said he felt good about his performance. He’ll take his next ACT on Feb. 9.

“If my score comes in, I think Texas will be calling me,” he said.

That being said, Kinner realizes he won’t be able to resolve his college plans by Feb. 6, national signing day. So far there’s been no talk about bringing him in on an official visit.

In fact, there hasn’t been much talk at all. Texas coaches did speak with Little Elm coach Donald Stowers last week to check in and gauge how much progress Kinner has made. Stowers said new running backs coach Larry Porter had planned to visit Little Elm but ended up having to reschedule.

“This is the deal with Ke’aun: If he gets the score late and they have one [scholarship] available, then he’ll get it,” Stowers said. “If he qualifies and there’s a scholarship available, it’s possible.”

The Longhorns lost running back pledge Kyle Hicks (Arlington, Texas/ Martin) last month to TCU but still face a numbers crunch going into 2013. There's no guarantee Texas would have room for one more pledge if Waco’s Andrew Billings does join the class.

Back in December, Stowers said he felt Kinner had a chance to pull off qualifying if he raised his test scores and his progress in the classroom held up. How does he feel now?

“There’s a lot that has to happen for that to work out,” he said.

Kinner has been putting in the work. He’s taking ACT prep courses three nights a week and is plenty motivated to get the scores he needs to qualify. He has been talking to Navarro College and Trinity Valley Community College in case he needs to go the junior college route, but Kinner has his heart set on playing for Texas.

“It would mean a lot,” he said. “That’s where I want to go. That’s one of my dreams, to be a Longhorn.”

With Oregon and Ohio State still the clear favorites to land Dontre Wilson and backs Alex Collins and Peyton Barber declining to visit despite being offered, Texas doesn’t appear to have many options left at running back.

Might Kinner be the solution? Stowers is trying his best to remain optimistic.

“I’d be extremely excited,” he said. “He’d be the biggest recruit to ever sign out of our high school. That would be a big deal for our school.”