Benardrick McKinney is a middle linebacker for the Mississippi State University Bulldogs of the Southeastern Conference. He was named a 2014 pre-season fourth team All-American by Phil Steele.
McKinney attended Rosa Fort High School in Mississippi. He was a quarterback and a linebacker in high school and generated 2,036 yards of total offense and 22 touchdowns his senior season. On defense McKinney tallied 66 tackles and earned a spot in the North/South All-Star Game. McKinney also started for the varsity basketball team.
McKinney redshirted during his freshman season in 2011 at Mississippi State. As a redshirt freshman in 2012 he was a first team Freshman All-American according to CBSSports.com, FoxSportsNext, Phil Steele and CollegeFootballNews.com. He played in all 13 games and started the final 10 games of the season. He finished the 2012 season tied for second in the FBS for tackles by a freshman with 102. His 102 tackles were sixth in the SEC. He also tallied 4.5 tackles for loss.
In 2013 McKinney started all 13 games at middle linebacker. He led the Bulldogs with 71 tackles, fourth among sophomores in the SEC. He tallied seven tackles for loss, tied for the most on the squad. He also led Mississippi State in sacks with 3.5 and recovered two fumbles. College Football News named McKinney to their All Sophomore team. McKinney is receiving a lot of attention from the NFL entering the 2014 season. NFL.com ranked him as one of the top 14 “freakish” athletes in college football.
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