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August 26, 2009

All signs point to Kinne

In early June, the InsideTulsaSports.com staff posted in Hurricane Alley that G.J. Kinne would likely be the starting quarterback for Tulsa this year, and with the first game less than 10 days away, ITS is sticking with its pick. Kinne says he's ready to take over, but what does that mean for the other quarterbacks?

Kinne has been the frontrunner since the end of spring drills, showing a strong, accurate arm, as well as the ability to escape pressure.

While TU head coach Todd Graham has not given any direct clues as to who they would pick as the starter, just reading between the lines leads one to believe that Kinne will be the guy.

Aside from Kinne being the most impressive at the position in the spring and fall, he has a good handle of the offense and has stayed away from major injuries. As expected, true freshman Shavodrick Beaver is still learning, and junior Jacob Bower dealt with an appendectomy during the summer.

Bower is healthy and has competed hard during fall camp. While we don't feel he'll get the nod as the starter, expect to see him in short-yardage situations and other special packages.

Fans should also expect to see Beaver on the field as well. He is still learning the offense, but there is no denying his ability to make plays, especially with his feet. He is a true dual-threat quarterback that can flat out make things happen in the open field when he leaves the pocket.

"I just want to go out there and win," said Beaver.

Looking toward the future, Kinne is just a sophomore and could be a three-year starter. Obviously, Beaver might have something to say about that in the coming years, but Kinne believes he has the skills and confidence to excel in the Golden Hurricane's up-tempo attack.

"I worked really hard on my footwork over the summer," Kinne described. "I take pride in my accuracy. I try to put the ball on the money. My arm strength, I feel, is right up there with my accuracy. I feel like that's a big strength of mine."

When asked about the coming season on media day, it was as if he had already won the starting job.

"I'm just looking forward to that first game -- getting out there and showing what I can do," Kinne said. "I'm trying to be a leader on and off the field -- lead by example and hard work.

"I'm not really a vocal guy. I can be when I need to be, but mostly just going out there and leading by example, and hopefully, leading this team to a 14-0 season."

Kinne sat out last year after transferring from the University of Texas. He ran the scout team for Tulsa and continually worked to improve.

"I was just lifting weights, getting faster and stronger, working on my technique and my footwork, reading defenses and watching a lot of film," he explained.

The hard work has apparently paid off, and we will be shocked if he is not named the starter within the next 10 days.

2009 InsideTulsaSports.com. All Rights Reserved.

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