College: four years to explore oneself in a variety of ways. It is the time for someone to find out who they really are, and what their long term plans are. Students do this in the classroom, and on the gridiron.
Former Syracuse quarterback John Kinder is trying a new position. He’s officially moving to wide receiver, where he will catch passes rather than throw them. The quarterback competition now consists of Terrel Hunt, Charley Loeb, and Drew Allen. Scott Shafer said he was proud of Kinder for putting the team’s success first.
Kinder was near the bottom of Shafer’s list to start under center against Penn State on Aug. 31. Hunt has been practicing with the first team while Allen, the Oklahoma transfer, is working with the second team. Charley Loeb practiced with the second team behind Ryan Nassib for much of last season.
Once upon a time we wondered who would be the next Syracuse QB after Nassib: Johnny Miller or John Kinder. Turns out neither. Kinder is missing out on the opportunity to quarterback, a position he’s played throughout his career, but he is more concerned about playing time and helping the team win.
This says a lot about this young man. He’s not a selfish player. He is willing to learn a new position and help Shafer make a decision on his starting quarterback. Shafer had nothing but positive words about him:
“John Kinder, I just love him to death. He came to me. He wants to play. He wants an opportunity.
“It was a tough deal for John because he’s always been a quarterback his whole life. I think it’s always easier to move back if we had something that we had to do. But it’s hard to try to get a kid up to speed if he doesn’t get the reps in the meeting room as much as on the field.”
He’s mature. He hasn’t taken a snap for the Orange in his three other seasons, but did play on special teams in the games against Stony Brook and USC.
Kinder has good size to be a wide receiver as well, standing at 6’2” and 187 lbs. Orange Nation has always marveled at his athleticism when it’s been on display such as the Spring Games. The biggest thing he has to work on now is learning the routes and improving his hands. But with his attitude and natural gifts, it’s not hard to imagine Kinder having some success there.
This is a good move for Kinder for getting some playing time and helping the team. There was likely no way he would ever get any snaps at quarterback. The wideout position is in flux after the departures of Marcus Sales and Alec Lemon. Give him credit. He approached Shafer about finding a way onto the field. Here’s hoping it works out for him.
Posted: Austin Pollack