Antonio Kinard doesn't insult everyone's intelligence by saying every team recruiting him stands on level footing. He doesn't want to pretend that his Toledo offer carries the same weight as the ones he holds from USC, Arizona and Miami.
The Arizona Western Community College linebacker qualifies everything he says by pointing out that every school interested in his services still has a chance. He's not locked into a top two or top three. He hasn't officially trimmed his list. That said, he does have a couple favorites. Could that list change? It sure could. For now it's just the way it is.
"The top schools that I'm really looking at right now are Miami, for sure, and USC," Kinard said. "I really don't have a third one, really right now. Those are kind of my top two for the moment.
Lying in the shrubbery just outside of Kinard's top two is Arizona. Kinard plans to visit Tucson on July 27 and admits that the Wildcats could insert themselves into the thick of his recruitment if he likes what he sees on the trip. Kinard, who committed to Michigan out of high school in 2010, knows some of the names kicking around the Arizona campus these days.
And that's all the head start the Wildcats may need.
"Some of the Michigan staff that recruited me back in high school is there," Kinard aid. "So that's good. I have a good relationship with the coaches that are there and I know them. Other than that, I don't really know too much more about the school."
Other visits on Kindard's schedule aren't as set in stone. He knows he will take official visits to both Miami and USC. He has ballpark dates for both trips but is yet to nail down specific dates.
"I'm going to Miami in the middle of December and USC more like at the beginning of December," he said.
So what gives USC and Miami, a pair of schools Kinard is yet to visit, the edge as things stand now? The three-star prospect holds nine scholarship offers and isn't planning to make a decision until after the upcoming season.
"I was actually originally committed to Miami coming out of Hardgrave Military Academy (prep school), so I still have all those great relationships," Kinard said. "I like everything about Miami. USC is kind of new. They came out and watched me play in our spring game. They liked what the saw, gave me a phone call and offered me a full ride. I've liked them every since."