Tigers land commitment from Class of 2021 nationally ranked top 10 running back

LSU running back coach Kevin Faulk is more than qualified when it comes to playing the position at an elite level.

The school’s leading career rusher and former All-American went on to enjoy a lengthy career with the New England Patriots where he won three Super Bowls.

More than three months after being promoted to his current position on LSU’s coaching staff, Faulk’s proving himself on the recruiting trail as well. He helped the Tigers land their first running back in the Class of 2021 on Monday with a pledge from four-star prospect Corey Kiner of Roger Bacon High in Cincinnati.

The 5-foot-10, 208-pound Kiner made his decision during a news conference outside of his school’s football stadium where he’s rushed for a school-record 5,264 yards, compiled 6,804 all-purpose yards and scored a school-record 81 rushing touchdowns.

“As far as the national championship, that didn’t matter to me,” Kinder said to the Cincinnati Enquirer. “Just the way those guys made me feel like it was home. Especially Coach Faulk. He came to see me before the coronavirus stuff happened before the (NCAA recruiting) dead period. That relationship’s been building slowly but surely over time.”

LSU won out for Kiner’s services over a scholarship offer list that included 20 schools with Cincinnati, Michigan and Penn State his reported finalists.

Kiner would become the first player from Cincinnati to sign with LSU since Spencer Ware (2010-12). Ware finished the 2019 season the injured reserve list of the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs.

“Thickly built with a compact frame,” 247Sports national recruiting analyst Allen Trieu said. “Runs hard and shows good balance and ability to break tackles. Shows burst and accelerates quickly when he gets the ball. 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.”

LSU’s ability to land a player of Kiner’s stature further impacted its current recruiting class which is No. 11 according to 247Sports. The Tigers, who have 10 commitments overall, also secured a pledge on May 4 from four-start quarterback Garrett Nussmeier of Flower Mound, Texas.

Kiner, the No. 10 rated running back in the nation and No. 7 prospect in Ohio, further distinguished himself during Bacon’s 10-2 season in 2019 which ended with a 28-27 loss to Valley View in the second round of the state playoffs. He rushed for 2,298 yards and scored 40 touchdowns.

Kiner became the 19th player in the state’s history to score eight or more touchdowns in a game, and the first ever from the Greater Cincinnati area, when he rushed for 323 yards with eight scores in a 58-32 victory over Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy on Oct. 19.

Kiner, who became the school’s career rushing leader the previous week in a 32-8 win over Meadowdale, also broke three school marks in the win against CHCA with single-game highs in rushing yards and touchdowns, in addition to becoming the school’s leader in all-purpose yardage where his total includes yards from kickoff and punt returns.

“They’re getting one of the best,” Roger Bacon football coach Mike Blaut said of LSU. “It’s pretty cool being a Bengals fans and we’re getting (former LSU Heisman Trophy quarterback) Joe Burrow. We hear all the great things about what a great guy he is and what he does for the community. We’re sending one down there to Baton Rouge, too. It’s a pretty good exchange.”

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William Weathers

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