Jarvis Kinchen spent all of last season catching passes for Dunbar.This season, the 6-foot-2, 170-pound senior plans to throw them.Kinchen, originally slated to be the backup quarterback and starting tight end this year, became the starting quarterback when Willie Fletcher transferred to Mariner.
The move has suited both Kinchen and new Dunbar coach Greg Baloga just fine.”He’s going to be something else,” said Baloga, who inherited a team that finished 8-2 last season.
Last season’s starter, dropback passer Cole Stinson, stood 6-5. He has graduated and moved on to Ball State University.Although Kinchen lacks Stinson’s size, he beats Stinson in quickness and scrambling ability.”He has thrown the ball well from day one,” Baloga said. “Now, he poses a dual threat. We can run some options with him back there. He’s really fitting into the role of quarterback well. He does not want to lose. He wants to be the best.”
Division I schools such as Auburn, Syracuse, Alabama and Pittsburgh have been recruiting Kinchen as an athlete, Baloga said.”He’s very versatile,” Baloga said. “Now that they see him running and throwing, they’re getting a lot more interested in him.”
Kinchen caught 27 passes for 369 yards and three touchdowns last season while playing tight end.The transition from tight end to quarterback meant paying closer attention to the playbook during the three weeks of spring practice in May.”I have to learn to read coverages better,” Kinchen said. “I really wanted to play receiver. But I want to win. I want to go to state.”
When asked to compare himself to Stinson, Kinchen grinned.”Cole is a Peyton Manning,” he said, referring to the Indianapolis Colts’ starting quarterback. “I’m like a Charlie Ward.”
Despite being 5-years-old when Ward last played football at Florida State, in 1993, Kinchen knows Ward’s style of passing, running and throwing while on the run.”I follow my sports,” said Kinchen, who also plays basketball and competes for the track team. “I watch classic games.”The Tigers hope to finally play in some classic games of their own. Dunbar missed the playoffs last season because of two district losses.
“He takes charge in the huddle,” senior receiver Ira Riggins said of Kinchen. “He knows how to step up and be a leader this year. We thought we were a good enough team to play in the playoffs. Only two teams can make it. We know we have to come out and play hard.”
Starting signal-caller transfers to Mariner
News-Press file photo* Dunbar will count on running back Marion Walker (11) for another big year. The junior rushed for over 700 yards, averaged 79 yards per game and scored five touchdowns for the Tigers in 2003.