For Rodney Kinlaw, the door of opportunity is wide open. The talented and hard-working Kinlaw has a chance to garner substantial playing time in the backfield. He and classmate Austin Scott will be the top two candidates at tailback entering the season, a competition among the most experienced backs that is likely to continue through the fall. Kinlaw posted an impressive 5.1-yard per carry average last season, best among players with 10 or more carries. Blessed with good speed and vision, he is prized not only as a rusher but also as a pass catcher. Kinlaw also will have the opportunity to be a significant contributor on special teams, as he has demonstrated his skills as a kick returner the last two seasons. The former Stratford HS standout is a nephew of former Nittany Lion All-American Courtney Brown. Kinlaw joined center Patrick Weber as the first two members of the 2007 squad to graduate, earning his degree in labor and industrial relations in May. He is working on a second degree, in sociology, this fall.
2006 Senior Season
The top reserve to tailback Tony Hunt, Kinlaw appeared in every game and was Penn State's second-leading rusher and an effective kick returner for the second consecutive season. He gained 199 yards on 39 carries for an impressive 5.1-yard average, best among those with 10 or more carries. In the win over Youngstown State, the athletic Kinlaw ran for a career-high 86 yards and caught one pass for five yards. He ripped off a career-long 43-yard run against the Penguins. He also gained 37 yards on seven carries at Notre Dame and 38 yards on seven attempts at Purdue. In his second year on kickoff returns, Kinlaw averaged 19.3 yards per return, taking back nine kicks for a total of 174 yards, with a long of 50 yards. He was on the field for 144 snaps, with a season-high 29 at Notre Dame. Kinlaw was the recipient of the Red Worrell Award, presented to the offense's most improved player, at the conclusion of spring practice.
2005 Junior Season
he second half of the season provided more opportunities for Kinlaw to be a consistently productive player and he responded. He was inserted onto the kickoff return unit after Derrick Williams suffered a season-ending injury at Michigan and delivered a pair of huge returns among his eight for the season. He totaled 237 yards (second only to Williams' 274 yards) for an impressive 29.6-yard average, tied for the fifth-highest average in school season history. His average was the best by a Nittany Lion with at least eight returns since Gary Brown's school record 43.0 average in 1990. The swift athlete ripped off a 77-yard return at Illinois and a 58-yard return against Purdue to give the offense great field position. Kinlaw ran for 34 yards on 16 carries, gaining 15 yards on three carries with a touchdown against Minnesota. He also had a rushing touchdown at Illinois. He had one reception for three yards. Kinlaw played in seven games, including each of the last five.
2004 Sophomore Season
Kinlaw returned to the field after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in September 2003, ending his season. He played in every game and was fourth on the team in rushing, gaining 93 yards on 23 carries. Kinlaw also led the Lions with 10 kickoff returns for 198 yards, including a team season-best 65-yard return against Purdue. Kinlaw rushed for 50 yards on seven attempts against Akron in the season-opener and tallied 21 yards on five attempts against Ohio State. He was on the field for 62 snaps, led by 14 against Akron.
2003 Freshman Season
Kinlaw practiced with the first and second-team the first month of the season, but did not see any action. In a mid-September practice, he suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, an injury that required surgery. He was granted a medical redshirt.
Kinlaw excelled at running back and defensive back for Coach Ray Stackley at Stratford HS. During his senior season, he amassed 1,783 yards and scored 30 touchdowns, averaging 8.4 yards per carry. He rushed for 1,071 yards as a junior. Kinlaw earned numerous accolades, including being named the Charleston Post and Courier and Palmetto Touchdown Club Offensive Back-of-the-Year. He was selected an All-American by SuperPrep and was a finalist for South Carolina's Mr. Football. He also earned Associated Press first-team all-state, All-Low Country and all-region honors.
Full name is Rodney Eddrick Kinlaw. He is the nephew of Courtney Brown, a 1999 consensus first-team All-American for the Nittany Lions and the No. 1 overall selection in the 2000 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. Kinlaw earned his degree in labor and industrial relations in May 2007 and is working on a second degree, in sociology. Born April 6, 1985.