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Cincinnati's Corey Kiner: The Big 12's Most Underrated Back

Corey Kiner
© Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer/USA TODAY SPORTS

The Big 12 Conference shaping up to have one the strongest run games in the nation in 2024. Names like Devin Neal, Ollie Gordon II, RJ Harvey, DJ Giddens and others, are consistently finding themselves at the top of many best running backs in the nation lists.

However, there is another name that has not been mentioned, yet, but has built a strong enough resume to at least be considered one of the better backs in not just in the conference, but in the nation as well. That name is Corey Kiner from the University of Cincinnati, a name Big 12 and national pundits should get to know.

About Corey Kiner

A fourth-year running back for the Bearcats, Kiner had his first season as a bell-cow back as a junior last season rushing for 1,047 yards on 192 carries (a very nice 5.5 yards/carry) and scored 5 touchdowns.

He would also catch 12 passes for 49 yards. Another stat to note is that he has not fumbled his entire college career, making him one of the most sure-handed backs in the NCAA.

Kiner decided to return to Cincinnati after rumors of him contemplating entering the 2024 NFL Draft or potentially entering the transfer portal started to circulate. Considering fellow back Myles Montgomery's departure for conference rival UCF would occur less than a month later, this was welcome news for the Bearcat faithful.

Corey Kiner
© Katie Stratman/USA TODAY SPORTS

With Kiner's return and Montgomery's departure, Cincinnati will have to lean on the senior for their run game, something they should have no problem doing considering his numbers last year. While not super flashy in terms of scoring or yardage, more chances to carry the football for a 1,000-yard, 5.5 yards/carry back who has never fumbled in his collegiate career should get Bearcat fans excited and should put the Big 12 on notice. With young Ohio State transfer Evan Pryor also being paired with Kiner, Cincinnati should have an explosive backfield that keeps up with the many thoroughbred stables of the Big 12.

What Kiner's Return Means for Cincinnati

While Cincinnati is still widely picked to finish at or near the bottom of the Big 12 with still looming defensive questions and an offense that performed far too inconsistently this past year not making very many changes, Kiner's return as well as the return of an experienced, solid offensive line will be a major bright spot that the Bearcats will need to work off of for offensive success.

The Bearcats also welcome in a new starting quarterback with Emory Jones's departure to the NFL. The likely heir to the starting job will be Brendan Sorsby. Sorsby also provides some ground options for the Bearcats, making for a dynamic backfield that should see some variation in the run game. The combination of Sorsby, Kiner and Pryor as well as the experienced offensive line will be imperative in Cincinnati's offensive success.

With additions via the transfer portal in the receiving corps with Tony Johnson from Florida Atlantic and Tyrin Smith from UTEP to help out leading receiver Xzavier Henderson, this Bearcat offense should be far more versatile with Kiner leading the ground game

You can find more Cincinnati Bearcats news as well as more Big 12 and college football news here at College Football Dawgs.


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