Kinnie (6-3, 220 lbs.) played three seasons at Nebraska and started 20 games. He caught six touchdowns at Nebraska and ten more as a freshman at Fort Scott Community College in Fort Scott, Kan. He transferred following that breakout freshman season and chose Nebraska over Arkansas and Pittsburgh.
Must-See Statistic: Kinnie, a local product from Grandview High School in Grandview, Mo., posted amazing numbers during his junior season. With future Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman throwing him the ball, Kinnie caught 49 passes for just over 1,200 yards and 21 scores that season. Grades kept him back from signing on with a major program as a freshman, but he transferred to Nebraska after one season at Fort Scott Community College (Kan.).
Chiefs Nation Should Know:
Two days before his college football career began, Brandon Kinnie received a reality check. Instead of playing his first game for Fort Scott Community College, coach Jeff Sims told Kinnie he would redshirt the entire 2007 season.
While he sat out, Sims told Kinnie he would learn how to practice—a lesson he never needed to learn as a star athlete at Grandview High School and with current Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman throwing him the ball.
“He had all the talent in the world, and in high school he used it,” Sims remembered. “But that doesn’t necessarily mean he was working as hard as he should’ve been. We knew he could reach another level.”
Kinnie’s experience at Fort Scott helped maximize his potential, eventually developing into a star player at both Fort Scott, and later, Nebraska. But without Sims’ lesson, Kinnie doubts he could’ve made it to the NFL level with the Chiefs.
“I had to work harder,” said Kinnie, who signed as an undrafted rookie free agent after participating in the Chiefs local pro day. “It was tough to accept, at first.”
Kinnie had to take his lumps in practice against equally talented Fort Scott players. The Fort Scott (Kan) defense—which featured future NFL players Jason Pierre-Paul, Lavonte David, and Coryell Judie, among others—forced Kinnie to refine his practice habits.
Sims said Kinnie improved through competing.
“He had a tendency to try and go deep on every play—to be the hero,” Sims said. “We didn’t need that all the time from him, and he figured it out.”
Kinnie proved he was a well-rounded receiver when he transferred to Nebraska. In a blowout game against Washington last season, Kinnie didn’t catch a single pass—but delivered several crushing blocks that helped the Huskers rack up 51 points and 309 rushing yards.
The old Kinnie that first showed up to Fort Scott would’ve griped about his lack of targets, but the new Kinnie said he was happy to contribute to a win. And with the Chiefs, Kinnie will have to continue to be an incremental contributor to make the team this season.
“As you get older, you start prioritizing what’s important and you grow up,” said Kinnie. “I just want to help out in any way I can—on special teams, on offense, whatever they need me for.”