G.J. Kinne Ready To Compete In New York
TULSA, Oklahoma - New York City has always been a star driven town. The Yankees have Derek Jeter. The Knicks have Carmelo Anthony. The Giants have Eli Manning.
The Jets already have a pair of talented young quarterbacks fighting for time in the spotlight in Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow. Now, another young gun is trying to make a name for himself in the Big Apple.
"I'm just going to go in there and learn as much as I can from those guys while competing with them," former Tulsa quarterback G.J. Kinne said at the Tulsa Drillers game Thursday night. "I'm going to try to be the best teammate I can be and try to make this team somehow."
The Jets and Kinne agreed to a free agent contract shortly after the NFL Draft last month. Kinne, the school's only player to surpass 6,000 yards passing and 1,000 yards rushing, spoke to multiple teams during the sixth and seventh rounds of the draft. He didn't end up getting selected, but going undrafted meant he was then able to hand-pick where he wanted to play.
"It was almost like (college) recruiting all over again," he said. "I was able to narrow it down to a couple of teams and finally I ended up with the Jets."
Kinne said the decision to sign with New York was an easy one.
"Really it was just the coaching staff. I trained with (former NFL quarterback) Chad Pennington over the offseason and he called me and he had a prior relationship with (Jets new offensive coordinator) Tony Sparano. That's really what initiated the contact … Chad really had a big impact on my decision."
Kinne participated in rookie mini-camp with his new team last week. He will head back to New Jersey on Sunday and spend the next month going through different summer conditioning drills trying to get ready for the upcoming NFL training camp.
Kinne was Conference USA's Offensive Player of the Year as a junior. He threw 81 touchdown passes in a Golden Hurricane uniform and finished his career in second-place on Tulsa's all-time total yards list (10,831).