Cameron Kinley is a rare undrafted player who has made headlines over the past month. That's because the cornerback, who recently graduated from the Navy, had his request to postpone his five-year service denied.
Today, however, that situation has changed. US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin allowed Kinley to postpone his service with the Navy and join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the team's training camp, which begins on July 25th.
“Today I was informed the Secretary of Defense will be allowing me to continue my journey with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and attend training camp at the end of this month. I am extremely appreciative of Secretary Austin’s decision and I am excited to represent our fine military in the National Football League”, said Kinley in a statement.
Kinley signed with the Buccaneers as an undrafted rookie in May, but in June, he wasn't allowed to join the team's training camp, as the Navy was requesting that he report to duty as an Ensign. Last month, he declared that he was "disappointed with the decision" to be denied the opportunity to fulfill the other dream of his life. That decision was reversed today.
Cameron Kinley's college career
Kinley joined the Navy football team in 2017, with limited participation in his freshman season. In his second year, he played time on defense, recording two passes defended and a forced fumble in six games. However, the team ended the season 3-10.
In 2019, Kinley's fortune changed along with his team. Navy finished the season 11-2 and was ranked #20 on the College Football Playoff ranking. They even won the Liberty Bowl over Kansas State in a tight game that finished 20-17. That year, Kinley played in 12 games, defending five passes and even recording a sack. It was the best year of his college career.
Finally, as a senior, his participation in the college football season was limited, playing only eight out of 10 games for a weakened Navy team that won just three games. Kinley, however, recorded his first career interception and defended five more passes.