Cool To Be Kinne

Tennessee is sending in its big guns to recruit Texas gunslinger G.J. Kinne of Gilmer, and the Volunteers appear to be on target to acquiring a high-caliber quarterback who can throw, run, and throw on the run.

Kinne is coming off a stellar junior season at Canton High School in Texas in which he passed for an astounding 4,200 yards and 42 touchdowns, and rushed for another 15 TDs en route to being named Mr. Texas Football. The 6-foot-3, 215-pound signal caller has attracted a reported 23 offers, including a list of finalists that include Nebraska, Florida, Oklahoma, Alabama, USC and Baylor. All have offered except for the Trojans.

The Vols are currently listed as co-favorites with Baylor where his father, Gary Joe Kinne, is an assistant coach for the Bears. C.J. did recenty visit Oklahoma and is considering attending camp at Florida. He is slated to attend Tennessee's senior camp on June 17.

UT and Baylor are recruiting Kinne as a quarterback, while Oklahoma and Florida see him as an athlete first and possible signal caller. He has 4.60 speed and is an outstanding athlete with the size and skills to play several positions, including wide receiver, safety or linebacker.

Furthermore, C.J. Kinne has a lot of knowledge of the game coming from a football family, and he is an honor student sporting 3.8 core GPA. Although he could clearly play defense at the next level, Kinne prefers quarterback because that's the position he has always played and where his intangibles of leadership, toughness and instincts are off the chart.

The Vols are so convinced of Kinne's ability to thrive at quarterback that they are in an all out recruiting blitz in an effort to commit him.

"I am visiting Tennessee the week after next," he told's Allen Wallace. "I would prefer to redshirt at Tennessee and I like the chance I'll have for playing time. I've become quite good friends with offensive coach David Cutcliffe, and close with my recruiter, Trooper Taylor. Tennessee also sent Peyton Manning to the NFL."

It wouldn't be surprising if Kinne hears from Manning personally in coming weeks, as the Vols up the ante in this high-stakes competition. Beating out Baylor will certainly be tough, but Kinnes indicates UT would be his school of choice if he decides redshirting is in his best interest. There would certainly be a lot of pressure on him to play as a true freshman for a school that employs his father, and has a history of being overwhelmed by the big-time opponents of the Big 12. As good as Kinne is, he could still use a little polishing.

"On the field, I am able to move around the pocket and throw off the run," he told Wallace. "I make it real hard for the opposition to catch me. I also have arm strength. I can throw it 80 yards. My weakness is footwork under center, so this summer my quarterback coach is making me practice my three and five step drops until they're perfect."

Tennessee could be the perfect place for Kinne to take his game to the next level.

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