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May 7, 2008

Kinne discusses transfer to Tulsa

When InsideTulsaSports.com first reported in mid-April that University of Texas quarterback G.J. Kinne was considering a transfer to Tulsa, it was the beginning of a lengthy process. The 6-2, 220-pounder strongly considered four schools and made on-campus visits before ultimately deciding that he wanted to be a Golden Hurricane.

"I just sent in the paperwork about an hour ago," Kinne stated earlier this afternoon.

After completing 2-of-2 passes for 40 yards in the Longhorns' spring game, Kinne decided to look for a different situation. Tulsa quickly became a frontrunner due to his ties to the Graham family.

Kinne's father, Gary Joe, was a high school teammate of Tulsa head coach Todd Graham, and TU outside linebacker coach Brent Graham was a former assistant coach under Gary Joe Kinne at the high school level.

However, Tulsa wasn't a lock until recently, as a handful of schools made a strong push for Kinne's services.

"Louisiana Tech, Fresno State and Arizona were the main ones," he explained. "A couple bigger schools started contacting me, but I've already gone the big school route with the University of Texas, and I really just wanted to go somewhere that I could feel like I could start for three years and really showcase my talent."

The two-time Texas Class 3A high school all-state Offensive Player of the Year attended a spring scrimmage at Louisiana Tech before making an official visit to Tulsa for their annual Spring Game on April 19.

"I came out to the spring game with my father, and it went real well," Kinne described. "That was the first time I got to meet Coach Gus Malzahn. I really like everything he does."

"It especially suits me with what I do. I throw it down the field - I'm kind of a gunslinger. I really like what he's doing, and he thinks he can do some good things with me, so I'm excited about that."

Another piece of the puzzle was Tulsa's offense and the depth at receiver. The Golden Hurricane had three 1000-yard receivers last year, and they welcome two SEC transfers at that position who both sat out last season.

"The offense really helped," said Kinne. "They had the number one offense in the nation. The receivers, like Trae Johnson and Charles Clay, the receivers coming in, and they're on some big-time recruits right now. There's some great talent."

"I just felt like it was home, really. It's a smaller school, but I just liked everything about it."

Kinne was considered a three-star recruit in high school and finished his prep career ranked second in Texas high school history in passing yards (11,695) and touchdown passes (130). He was ranked by Rivals.com as the No. 58 overall prospect in the Texas class of 2007 and the No. 15 dual-threat quarterback in the nation.

While Kinne received recruiting interest from Tulsa as a high school senior, he didn't pay much attention at the time due to the large number of BCS schools involved.

"I had been to Tulsa a couple times for baseball tournaments growing up, but I'd never looked at the school, because coming out of high school, it was mainly Tennessee, Florida and Texas," he added.

Kinne will have to sit out the upcoming season but could play in 2009 and have three years of eligibility remaining.

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