After announcing his plans to enter the NCAA transfer portal Monday morning, former Roger Bacon High School running back and 2020 Ohio Mr. Football Corey Kiner will leave Louisiana State University (LSU) and return home.
After waiting for LSU to officially place him in the portal, Kiner has since declared he’ll be a University of Cincinnati Bearcat. The announcement came just after 6 pm Monday with a Twitter video featuring “Put On” by E Watts featuring Young Jeezy and the 513 area code. Until Thursday, Kiner was in spring practice at LSU.
“I had to make a decision as far as me being happy,” Kiner said. “My grandmother and grandfather and little cousins and brothers and sisters and all that, they can come to see every home game now.”
‘I want to see who wants to step up’:Cincinnati’s race to replace RB Jerome Ford is on
UC quarterback competition:Cincinnati Bearcats close spring camp with QB job still unsettled
Cincinnati Bearcats’ spring football game:Five takeaways
Though UC returns some running back experience with redshirt freshman Ryan Montgomery, senior Charles McClelland, junior Ethan Wright and sophomore Myles Montgomery, they are still trying to find a clear No. 1 running back with the departure of Jerome Ford to the NFL Draft.
Ford ran for 1,242 yards and had 19 rushing touchdowns for the Bearcats in 2021. Kiner would be the first Ohio Mr. Football running back for the Bearcats since Michael Warren II, who won the honor for Toledo Central Catholic in 2016.
Kiner’s move now gives Luke Fickell two former Ohio Mr. Football winners as Evan Prater won the honor out of Wyoming High School in 2019.
Kiner had committed to LSU in the spring of 2020. Before that, he had numerous offers and Twitter edits detailing his pigskin possibilities. When current LSU offensive coordinator Mike Dembrock was at UC, he sought Kiner to be a hometown hero along the lines of Prater and others.
Several Bearcats expressed themselves via social media about the Kiner news Monday, including quarterback Prater who retweeted his May 2020 post, “I need this..backfield would be crazy !!!!!! !! @CoreyKiner.” Before declaring for LSU, UC had been among Kiner’s Top 10 the first time around.
“Evan talked to me throughout my time at LSU, just checking up on me,” Kiner said. “We’ll try to continue to elevate each other’s talents. That’s the goal.”
Kiner rushed for 7,130 yards during his Roger Bacon career, including 1,866 as a senior with 35 touchdowns. During that season, he was often held out of the second half of games when the Spartans had healthy leads.
During LSU’s 5-6 season this past fall, Kiner ran for 324 yards and two touchdowns. His best game was 74 yards with a touchdown against Central Michigan Sept. 18. His last game was this past Jan. 4 when he ran for 53 yards in LSU’s 42-20 Texas Bowl loss to Kansas State.
By that time, Ed Orgeron had been dismissed. Kevin Faulk, a former NFL back turned coach was also not kept on new coach Brian Kelly’s staff. Faulk was influential in getting Kiner to LSU.
At UC, he’ll be surrounded by familiar faces and he looks forward to playing in a packed Nippert Stadium.
“The people you work out with, shed tears and put in work with, those are family members,” Kiner said. “I can’t wait to put in work with my new family. Coach Fickell and my relationship just picked up where it left off in my recruiting.”
Kiner departs LSU prior to their spring game, which is set for Saturday, April 23.
”I’m happy to wear that Cincinnati across my chest and I’m going to do it with pride,” Kiner said.