College Spotlight: Kinsey turning NFL heads as senior season approaches
Technically, there is no offseason for Mason Kinsey. The Habersham Central (’16) product runs it wide open in every month of the year. Perhaps this past “offseason” has been his most productive, however, as much more is at stake than his senior campaign with the Berry College Vikings.
It goes back to this past February. Following yet another fantastic season at Berry, in which he at one point led the world in touchdown catches. In the wake of his 776-yard, 16 TD (18 total TD) performance, Kinsey was tested by the NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Buffalo Bills. During this time, he was interviewed for over two hours, his hands and wingspan were measured, and he took the Wonderlic (Cognitive) Test. He then was timed in the 40-yard dash, registering a blazing 4.47.
Buffalo’s scout works with the BLESTO agency, and the Tampa Bay scout represents the Nationals Agency. Their info was recorded into both databases, which are used by the NFL, and not exclusive to either team. Since that information was recorded, the Pittsburgh Steelers, Oakland Raiders, Green Bay Packers, Carolina Panthers, Seattle Seahawks, and Philadelphia Eagles all have reached out to Kinsey’s coaches. Per NCAA rules, he cannot commit to or discuss specific topics with NFL agents, but he is allowed to be introduced to them.
“It’s very exciting to know that I’m even being considered to play NFL football,” states Kinsey. “It’s been a dream of mine since I was six years old. Although I want it to happen, I was given a chance by Berry College to continue my football and academic career so I owe them everything I have left in the tank.”
Kinsey, who earned national attention after posting career-highs and program records in 2017 with 1,245 receiving yards and 17 TD, has trained tirelessly in multiple facilities in the metro Atlanta area. That’s on top of taking a full load of classes and working 20 hours per week on Berry’s campus this past spring. He’d drive 90 minutes one-way to train, only to return to Berry for a few hours of sleep. His training posse has included former Habersham great Tavarres King (’08), Terry Goodwin, Marlon Brown, and Eric Weems. All are NFL receivers who have helped Kinsey with route running, footwork, and more.
“Playing in the NFL has been my ‘Plan A’ for a long time,” admits Kinsey. “It would provide me with the opportunity to provide for my family and give back to my community. My goal has always been to put myself in a situation where I can repay my parents for all that they’ve done. If it happens, then I feel like I’ve worked hard enough to put myself in the situation to play professional football. If not, then I did everything I could, so I can live with the results. It’s all in God’s perfect plan.”
Mason Kinsey being EVEN better means bad news for everyone on the Vikings’ schedule this season. With 2,122 yards, he sits third in school history, needing 716 to claim the top spot. He is third in receptions (138), needing just 48 to claim that. His 34 TDs ranks first. He owns the trifecta of single-season records of yards (1,245), TDs (17), and receptions (77).
Of the story lines to watch for in Kinsey’s record-seeking senior season, the star wideout will also get to play alongside his brother, Garrett Kinsey (Habersham ’18) one last time. Garrett was a freshman in 2018 and saw time on special teams, but has switched to HBack and tight end this season from linebacker. After a successful knee injury, Garrett was named Offensive MVP during spring football. Look out for the duo this season, who potentially could both find the end zone in the same game.
Kinsey is second all-time in receiving yards at Habersham Central, trailing King (above). He has earned All-American recognition after his record-setting sophomore season. While it can be easy to focus on more records, Kinsey is setting his sights on much more.
“I try not to focus on the records a lot,” he says. “I want to put my team in the best situation to win the whole season. We lost to the National Champions in the second round last year, and I want to play them again. Team record always comes first. I love to win and I hate to lose. If I can play to the best of my ability every snap, I think I’m giving my team and coaches what they deserve. I want to win a national championship.”