The Falcons picked up Norcross High School alum Jared Pinkney as an undrafted free agent following this year’s draft. The former Vanderbilt tight end will try to make the Falcons roster when training camp begins this fall. Pinkney grew up in Gwinnett County and has favorite Falcons memory wasn’t hard to recall.
“When Tony Gonzalez had that ridiculous toe-tap touchdown. He leapt up and caught the ball and came down with literally just his big toes in the endzone. That sticks out to me every time I think Falcons,” says Pinkney.
Growing up in Atlanta, Jared Pinkney says he has seen every Falcons game since he can remember. Now Pinkney will be following in the footsteps of his favorite Falcon Tony Gonzalez as the tight end from Vanderbilt has signed with his hometown team.
“I love my city and I always knew that I was going to live in Atlanta in the offseason, but it’s cool to know that now I will just be living here,” says Pinkney.
Just as Pinkney can recall his favorite Falcons memory, Norcross High School head coach Keith Maloof can remember every detail of Pinkey’s biggest play as a Blue Devil.
“I’ll never forget the pass he caught against North Gwinnett and took it right down the field and that’s when the Vanderbilt coach was there and said ‘I want that guy’,” says Maloof.
At Norcross Pinkney was a big wide receiver but transitioned to tight end at Vanderbilt. What helped him make the change? Watching none other than Tony Gonzalez.
“He’s the one that made it a real type of decision when my coach first approached me about playing tight end. He made it a possibility, I thought it could actually be a real thing,” says Pinkney.
As a tight end at Vanderbilt, Pinkney put up impressive numbers, especially as a junior. He was projected to be the top tight end of the 2020 class, but down numbers as a senior meant he went undrafted. But one of the benefits of being undrafted, Pinkney got to pick where he signed and he loved what the Falcons had to offer.
“It’s a good playbook, really great organization. Coach Quinn reached out to all of the draft picks and the undrafted guys, which I thought was pretty impressive. Thomas Dimitroff did as well. When you talk about those guys, it’s always interesting because they run such a huge organization but they find time to be really good human beings,” says Pinkney.
As impressed as Pinkney is with the Falcons, Maloof says Falcons fans should feel that good about getting Pinkney.
“The Falcons have got a steal,” says Maloof.