South Jersey football notes

Posted: February 02, 2013

The only thing more frustrating than Rashad Kinlaw's junior season was his senior season.

Kinlaw played in just six games as a junior at Absegami. He missed the rest of the season after breaking his right fibula against St. Augustine.

Kinlaw broke the same bone in a USA Football game in June. He ended up playing in just four games as a senior.

"It definitely was frustrating," Kinlaw said. "I knew what I could do, and I couldn't do it."

Kinlaw's injuries didn't stop him from being one of the most highly recruited players in the state. He plans to sign with Notre Dame on Wednesday.

"I feel like I have my best football ahead of me," the 6-foot-1, 175-pound Kinlaw said.

Kinlaw finally returned to the field for Absegami in an Oct. 26 game against Hammonton. He ran 17 yards for a touchdown on his first carry as a quarterback.

But it was a struggle to regain his explosiveness. He ended up participating in around 25 snaps a game, mostly on defense.

"I wanted to be my old self, but I was around 70 percent," said Kinlaw, recruited by Notre Dame as a cornerback.

Kinlaw said he never sensed Notre Dame was wavering on its commitment to him despite his injuries. Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly visited him at Absegami in mid-January.

"I can't wait to get there," Kinlaw said of Notre Dame.

Mitchell to Rutgers? Cedar Creek coach Tim Watson says he believes All-South Jersey quarterback Damon Mitchell could end up at Rutgers.

Mitchell was scheduled to leave Friday on a recruiting visit to Arkansas. Mitchell had committed to Georgia Tech in July.

Watson said that if Mitchell decides not to accept Arkansas' offer, Rutgers could emerge as the front runner for the 6-3, 205-pound quarterback who passed for 22 touchdowns and ran for 21 touchdowns last season.

Watson said Mitchell knows that Georgia Tech could pull its offer because of his decision to visit Arkansas. In fact, Georgia Tech on Wednesday - the day after Mitchell said he would visit Arkansas this weekend - received a commitment from quarterback Ty Griffin of McEachern High in Powder Springs, Ga.

And here's what Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson told the Atlanta Journal Constitution on Thursday about recruits visiting other schools: "I've got news for you. Usually, if they take a visit the last weekend, they're not coming to your place, no matter what you do."

Watson said Mitchell could end up at Rutgers if he decides after his visit that Arkansas is not the place for him.

Interest in Flacco. Eastern coach Dan Spittal said junior quarterback Tom Flacco, whose brother Joe will start at quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens in Sunday's Super Bowl, has begun to draw major recruiting interest.

Spittal said Penn State, Maryland, Ohio State, Rutgers, Kentucky, Stanford, Duke, and Boston College have shown interest, although none has offered a scholarship. Villanova and Delaware also have expressed interest in Flacco.

Spittal said the 6-0, 175-pound Flacco could have a higher "ceiling" than some other high school quarterbacks because he also plays basketball and baseball.

"He is a five-month-a-year quarterback," Spittal said of Flacco, who last season passed for 2,957 yards, the fourth-highest total in South Jersey history. "He's a true athlete. He has what you can't coach: 'Give me the ball when the game is on the line.' "

Johnson to Coastal Carolina. Highland senior Kerron Johnson will sign a letter of intent with Coastal Carolina, Tartans coach Craig Stinson announced Friday.

The 6-4, 185-pound Johnson played wide receiver and defensive back for Highland. He was recruited as a defensive back by Coastal Carolina, a FCS program that competes in the Big South Conference.

Johnson had 12 catches for 250 yards last season for Highland. On defense, he made 80 tackles and three interceptions.

"Kerron has demonstrated the attitude and effort in the classroom and on Friday nights during his four years at Highland to earn a scholarship," Stinson said.

Hills to Delaware? Wildwood running back Wesley Hills declined to confirm a report by that he will sign with Delaware.

Contacted Wednesday night, Hills said there were "a lot of rumors out there." Hills said he will announce his college destination during a signing-day ceremony at Wildwood.

Hills confirmed that he has canceled an official visit to Massachusetts this weekend.

Hills ran for 2,106 yards and scored 35 touchdowns last season, as Wildwood went 6-4 and made the South Jersey Group 1 playoffs for the first time in the history of the program.

This and that. Cherokee defensive lineman Zach Madden has committed to Penn. Madden made 42 tackles last season and forced three fumbles. . . . Stanford football coaches visited Kingsway junior Ray Lawry at basketball practice on Wednesday. Lawry called Stanford "a great program" that "gets you ready" for the NFL. . . . Cherry Hill East two-way lineman Tyler Drob has committed to Division II West Chester (Pa.). . . . Cherry Hill East wide receiver/safety Nick Della Vecchia, who missed the second half of his senior season with an injury, will play at Division III Gettysburg. . . . Haddonfield two-way lineman Mike DiNoia will play at Division III The College of New Jersey.

Contact Phil Anastasia at or @PhilAnastasia on Twitter. Read his blog, "Jersey Side Sports," at

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