- Tom VanHaaren, ESPN Staff Writer
Michigan landed 2015 defensive back Shaun Crawford (Lakewood, Ohio/St. Edward) on Friday, but the Wolverines weren’t done for the weekend. The coaching staff got good news from another 2015 prospect on Saturday.
Safety Tyree Kinnel (Huber Heights, Ohio/Wayne) committed to Michigan while on a visit, and became the sixth commitment for the 2015 class. Kinnel had only been recently offered by Michigan, but knew it was the place for him.
“I grew up a big Michigan fan and they were the first school to look at me in my freshman year. It was unreal getting the offer, growing up a fan I was a little overwhelmed,” he said. “But I thought, why wait? It’s the school I want, why worry about recruiting when I can get it over with and focus on my season.”
The 5-foot-11, 183-pound prospect chose the Wolverines over offers from Arkansas and Kentucky. He also has ties to his soon-to-be rival school.
Kinnel hails from the same high school as current Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller, and the two know each other very well. His commitment to Michigan won’t be swayed by Miller, but Kinnel says the Buckeyes signal caller will have some jokes for him now that he’s a Wolverine.
“Braxton knows I’m a Michigan fan and he knows they offered me,” he said. “We talk quite often and he congratulated me on everything.”
This addition gives Michigan 10 defensive back commits from the 2013 to 2015 classes, four of which are ESPN 300 prospects.
Kinnel says the Michigan coaches see him as a safety, and will potentially talk to him about playing nickel as well. He is a versatile athlete who should do well under defensive coordinator Greg Mattison.
There are roughly 15 total spots in Michigan’s 2015 class with six already taken. With two defensive backs on board the coaching staff can be a little picky with who else gets an offer, or commits in the secondary.
The main positions that need to be filled for 2015 are at quarterback, offensive and defensive line and linebacker. It’s still very early in the process, but Michigan is on its way to securing another top class.
16hTom VanHaaren and Erik McKinney