#57 Dayna Kinnaird
Class: RS Junior
Position: Defensive Line
Hometown: Jeffersonville, IN
Thoughts: Dayna is a local young man who came to the Cards from across the river as a preferred walk-on and has catapulted himself into the position to be a starter on the defensive line in 2020 and beyond. Dayna appeared in twelve games last season and even got the opening night start against Notre Dame in place of Amonte Caban. I mean, who could have seen this rise coming??? Maybe little ol’ me back in 2018…
Ok, maybe that was a bit of a weak flex, but what wasn’t a weak flex was when Kinnaird’s mom flexed all over Lucas Oil Stadium back in 2017 against Purdue. That was hilarious and frankly that scene alone would have put the Kinnaird’s into one of my Top 25 favorite Louisville families, but Dayna has a chance to move them up those ranking with the play many expect of him this season and next.
The defensive line struggled last season but Kinnaird and Peterson are back with a year in Coach Brown’s system under their belt and welcome some help from newcomers Henry Bryant, Ja’Darien Boykin, and Yaya Diaby, not to mention the other returning lineman. I spoke on this earlier in the Spring when covering some other defensive lineman but I actually believe that extra year and pieces Coach Brown and Coach Ivey have put into place will produce superior line play and really help in stopping the run game many opponents took advantage of last season. If we see top notch Goldwire in the middle and Peterson and Kinnaird on the edges with the guys above sprinkled in this could be one of the top lines in the conference, and I’m not speaking in hyperbole. I think the change could be that dramatic.
While many of you, myself included, have tried to black out the Miami game from last year Kinnaird registered his first sack of the season and made a nice play in doing so….he also forced a 14 yard loss on the play so win-win-win. The color commentator breaks it down a bit more but you can see how Dayna absorbs the initial contact, make an inside move and then holds on for the sack against a slippery QB in Jarren Williams.
With no full spring camp and limited summer action it’s hard to predict who with be our starters on the line but Kinnaird has positioned himself well to earn that spot coming off last season. When Dayna arrived on campus he was a bit of a tweener at both backer and defensive end only weighing 238 pounds. As you saw above, Dayna has worked his tail off adding bulk and now checks in at 270. I could credit Coach Sirignano for that but like most other things in life, the real credit probably goes to his mom. Flex on em’ one more time Mrs. Kinnaird.
I remember watching this back in December and getting hyped up, and then today I watched it and it damn near made me tear up. I hope these young men get a chance to ‘safely’ play this season, because I believe it folks…we ain’t finished.