By John Glennon
At the start of his sophomore year at Berry College, Mason Kinsey found himself in one of those typical first-day-of-class situations.
The professor went around the room, asking each of her students to share their name, major and dream job.
It prompted an automatic response from Kinsey, who has been laser focused on his career preference since he was seven years old.
“I told her,” Kinsey said, “that I wanted to be an NFL football player.”
Stunned by that answer, considering Berry College – a small liberal arts college located in Mt. Berry, Ga. – isn’t known as a pipeline to the NFL, the professor followed up with a logical question: How about you pick a real job?
“That is a real job,” Kinsey countered.
You know, the professor continued, that you’re at a Division Three school, right?
“You asked me what my dream job was, and that’s what I want to do,” Kinsey replied. “So at that point, she just said, ‘Okay,’ and then went on to the next person.”
It was one small moment, sure, but it illustrated the long odds Kinsey has faced throughout his football career – a career that seems to be getting more interesting by the day at Titans training camp. Kinsey made his strongest statement yet in Saturday’s preseason win over Tampa Bay, catching six passes for 56 yards and a touchdown. Through two preseason contests, the 5-10, 198-pound Kinsey leads the Titans in receptions (10) and receiving yards (107 yards), and he’s one of five players who’ve caught a scoring pass.
Do those kinds of numbers mean the 22 year-old Kinsey is an odds-on favorite to make the team’s 53-man roster?
Hardly. Not when the Titans’ receiving corps also features the likes of veterans Julio Jones, A.J. Brown, Josh Reynolds, Marcus Johnson and Chester Rogers, not to mention a pair of drafted rookies and a couple more aspiring free agents. But after watching him stand out in both preseason games and throughout training camp, the thought of Kinsey earning a roster spot isn’t nearly as absurd as it might have sounded to a certain Berry College professor years ago.