NHS grad wins National Championship
Published 5:23 pm Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Special to the Advance
In this age of braggadocios athletes, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College defensive lineman and Northview High School graduate Cedric McKinley lets his play do most of the talking.
Instead of trash talk for his opponents, any harsh words uttered out of the Demopolis native's mouth are usually directed at his teammates.
"I'm a hyper leader," McKinley said. "I like to get them ready to go."
In 2007, the defense was the focal point for the undefeated Bulldogs, who are the 2007 NJCAA Co-national Champions along with Butler (Kan.) Community College. The Bulldogs went a perfect 12-0 in 2007 and capped off the campaign with a 62-28 pounding of Kilgore College (Tx.) in the C.H.A.M.P.S Heart of Texas Bowl Dec. 1 in Copperas Cove, Texas.
McKinley, a 6-foot-5, 250-pound sophomore, racked up 19 tackles in 2007, with 18 assists, three tackles for a loss, four sacks, one caused fumble, five passes broken up, 10 quarterback pressures, and on Oct. 27, he recovered a fumble in the end zone as Gulf Coast hammered Southwest Mississippi Community College 53-17.
As a unit, the Bulldogs defense held its opponents to a scant 69 yards rushing per game.
"Cedric is a tremendous worker and has been a valuable leader for us," said Steve Davis, Gulf Coast defensive coordinator. "He has started every game this year, and he makes big plays in clutch situations. He has a great work ethic and is a true team player."
McKinley was originally recruited by Troy University, but his grades weren't up to par coming out of Northview.
"I wanted to go to college," McKinley said. "Coach Steve Campbell came and found me. Now I get to go out on the field, play, and have fun with my teammates."