It's official, Gilmer has a new quarterback prospect. G.J. Kinne, the starting quarterback the past three seasons at Canton high school, transferred to Gilmer today. Kinne threw for 432 yards, passed for five touchdowns and ran for two more against Gilmer last season in the playoffs, helping lead the Eagles to a 61-58 win. But, since his dad Gary Joe Kinne left Canton in January to coach linebackers at Baylor, there has been speculation that G.J. would leave as well. But Gilmer?
"I'm really as surprised as anybody," said Gilmer head coach Jeff Traylor today. "I'm like everybody else. I keep up with what's going on in the sports world. I just assumed he'd be going to Waco, or going back to Mesquite [where Kinne was an assistant coach]. His family has moved to Gilmer. He enrolled at school today. We're very excited to have him."
Traylor said Kinne is living with his mother and step father, who recently moved to Gilmer. Gilmer ISD verified their residency on Monday. Traylor said he has heard the allegations, accusing him of recruiting Kinne to Gilmer. He says that couldn't be further from the truth.
"Anybody that knows me very well, knows what the program of Gilmer is about," said Traylor, "knows I would never do anything to jeopardize what's been built way before I came here. Football didn't just start in 2000 in Gilmer. It's been going long before I was ever born. Anybody that knows me, and the program knows that would never happen. And the people that think that, I really feel sorry for them. It's a sad thing that when something happens, everybody has to think about the negatives instead of thinking about the positives."
When contemplating the prospect of dealing with the potential scrutiny and headaches that may come along with accepting a high-profile transfer like Kinne, Traylor put himself in the their shoes. He would hope a coach would welcome his kid with open arms.
"I thought long and hard about that," said Traylor. "Why am I in the business? I'm in the business to coach kids. All kids. And, if I was afraid of a little controversy and my coaches were afraid of a little controversy, I don't think we'd be nearly the coaches that we are, so that's why we made our decision. He chose us. We didn't choose him. He decided to come to Gilmer and we're going to coach him just like we would coach any other kid."
The addition of Kinne poses a potential quarterback controversy for the Buckeyes. Last year's starter, Jamell Kennedy, is only a junior. But, Traylor says Kennedy is being recruited by colleges as a wide receiver, so the move to that position isn't out of the question.
"It's always worked itself out in the past and this situation will work itself out too," said Traylor.
Gilmer and Canton are schedule to play each other in the season opening East Texas Classic in Tyler on August 31.