Tuning in to the Southwest Sports Report with Rick Renner on Fox Sports Southwest on Sunday night, Baylor fans watched with great anticipation as one of the top quarterbacks in Texas made his college choice. With offers from Baylor, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Florida, Alabama, Nebraska, and Florida State, G.J. Kinne (6-3, 215) had narrowed his list to two: Florida and Baylor.
Baylor offered the chance to keep playing football in Texas, where he has already thrown for over 8,500 yards, been selected as 1st team all state, 3A Offensive player of the year, been named Mr. Texas Football, and even made a prestigious appearance on the front cover of Dave Campbell's Texas Football. Perhaps more importantly, the Bears also offered the chance to remain close to his father Gary Joe Kinne, the new linebackers coach at Baylor.
Florida on the other hand had the intrigue of playing for Urban Meyer and his noted high-octane offense. Kinne mentioned early on in his recruitment, that a national championship was also something extremely important to him. Even the most diehard Baylor fan would have to admit that Florida is currently closer to attaining that than Baylor.
With the hats laid in front of G.J. and Rick Renner asking for his decision, G.J. let it be known that he was commiting to play football for Guy Morriss, Lee Hays, and the rest of the Baylor coaching staff. We at BearsIllustrated.com were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to be there, and break down the commitment of Kinne the moment it happened.
Kinne spoke about the trend of recruits, especially quarterbacks, commiting early. He noted that as the focal part of the team, the quarterback will obviously be important to the success of any recruiting class.
Baylor has already seen a wave of commitments to this point (16 prior to Kinne's declaration), but they were still missing that key piece at the quarterback position. Their worries are over now though, as they got their #1 target, a quarterback who can certainly make an impact on the new spread offense.
Last year at Canton High School, Kinne threw for 4,200 yards, 42 touchdowns, and used his 4.6 speed to run for 847 yards and 15 rushing touchdowns. He previously told Scout.com "On the field, I am able to move around the pocket and throw off the run. 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."
Kinne will continue his learning at Baylor under new quarterbacks coach, Wes Phillips, who helped guide Dalton Bell to numerous records at West Texas A&M last season, including leading the nation in Division II passing. One of the things Kinne commented on was the comfort level he felt with the Baylor coaching staff. He believed both schools presented great opportunities, but overall it was that comfort level and what he could do at Baylor that won him over.
Baylor fans of course will not rest as they wonder if the commitment of such a highly sought after prospect will mean a few more looks from top players. As always, BearsIllustrated.com will have your answers.