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The Cardinal Countdown: 57 Days Until Kickoff

2007 FedEx Orange Bowl: Louisville v Wake Forest Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images

#57 Dayna Kinnaird

Class: RS Junior

Ht/Wt: 6-3/270

Position: Defensive Line

Hometown: Jeffersonville, IN

Twitter: @DaynaKinnaird

Thoughts: I’m a big Dayna Kinnaird fan as it seems like we’ve been able to watch him grow from a local kid getting a shot (walk-on), to a major contributor on defense. Kinnaird played in ten games last year and got the start in two contests (FSU/UVA), playing fairly well in both of those opportunities. He’s always been portrayed as a “grinder” from within the program and last year many of the staff pointed to him now as a leader in the room for the D-line. The extra year of eligibility “may” translate to two more seasons of Kinnaird (he already graduated), and if that ends up happening I’m completely cool with it.

Let’s get “giffy” today breaking down a couple good elements of the game I saw last year against Virginia, a game while watching live I felt like Dayna played really well.

In this first clip you’ll see the tackle (top of screen) try and push Kinnaird outside, but Dayna keeps his leverage inside, the running back looks for a hole Kinnaird has now closed, and they are stopped on 3rd down and forced to punt. A great job from Dayna and Yasir on the outside to stop the cutback.

On this next play Kinnaird is pushed outside and actually blocked pretty well. Coverage forces the QB to break the pocket but Kinnaird doesn’t give up on the play, releases contain, and tracks him down from behind for a short gain, once again on 3rd down, forcing a FG.

Two solid plays that ended the drive on each. That effort is what keeps him in the rotation off the edge each week.

Kinnaird can still work on his reads and while improving over the years he, along with the rest of the defense, still missed way too many tackles for my liking in 2020, no question something he and staff are working on. While my gut says Yaya and Peterson are the defensive ends on play one against Ole Miss we will absolutely see Dayna in every game he is available. I’ve been excited to see his progression each and every year, and I have no doubt 2021 will be the same. Also….ever since his mom flexed all over us in Lucas Oil Stadium back in 2017, I’m a Kinnaird fan for life.

Sweet Tweet:

With the Satterfield “flirtations” last year Kinnaird was one of the players to speak up in support of him and the staff, and frankly his story is one you can’t argue against. From not getting an opportunity to have a shot with the new regime and making the most of it. Glad things worked out well and we got to keep Dayna here at home.