Growing up in Atlanta, Vikings' Jerick McKinnon was fueled by doubters


He’ll keep in mind school recruiters who bypassed him due to his measurement.

McKinnon, who grew up outdoors of Atlanta in Cobb County, will return house for Sunday, Dec. three’s midday kickoff towards the Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Soccer has labored out properly for the 5-foot-9, 205-pound McKinnon. In his fourth season in Minnesota, he is third on the group with 390 yards dashing and fourth with 36 receptions for 261 yards.

Since he was child, McKinnon has been fueled by doubters, and he developed a piece ethic his former highschool coach referred to as probably the most spectacular of any participant he has coached. McKinnon remembers when it actually began in his hometown of Marietta, Ga.

“I had a coach at (Marietta Center Faculty),” McKinnon stated Friday. “I keep in mind it prefer it was yesterday. He stated I used to be too small and I used to be going to get harm. He stated it to my dad as a result of I wasn’t enjoying a lot that season and he requested him about it.

“I’ve received a chip on my shoulder that I carry with me since again then, and that is why I work so onerous. It goes again to huge faculties saying (throughout recruiting), ‘He is not large enough.’ … Once I’m residence (this weekend), I am going to reminisce about these issues, and the way far I’ve come.”

After realizing he wasn’t going to play a lot at Marietta Center Faculty, McKinnon transferred to J.J. Daniel Center Faculty following the sixth grade. At Marietta’s Sprayberry Excessive Faculty, he had a coach who believed in him.

McKinnon performed quarterback, operating again, broad receiver and defensive again beneath Billy Shackelford, now the coach at close by East Paulding Excessive. Shackelford shall be at Sunday’s recreation.

“I’ve had higher athletes, and I’ve had guys who’re taller and could be slightly quicker, however I’ve by no means had anyone that outworked Jerick,” he stated. “He was all the time the primary-in-the-weight room and the final to go away. He all the time had one thing to show. I feel he took it personally that folks did not assume he was large enough. It ticked him off.”

Shackelford remembers when an assistant coach from Illinois was deciding between McKinnon and one other participant through the recruiting course of.

“He appreciated a child from Chicago and he appreciated Jerick,” Shackelford stated. “So, he flew down simply to measure his arm span. And he stated, ‘Coach, I really feel these guys are virtually equal in means, however I’ve acquired to go together with the man who was the longest.'”

Then there was a Georgia Tech coach, who recruited McKinnon and one other quarterback from Cobb County, Synjyn Days of Hillgrove Excessive Faculty. The Yellow Jackets provided the 6-2, 231-pound…



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