Ken McKinley, father of former South Carolina wide receiver Kenny McKinley, was generous with his time and amazing in his ability to share stories with me about his deceased son this week.
I wrote about Kenny’s induction into the USC Athletic Hall of Fame in today’s paper, but I wasn’t able to share all the wonderful stories he told me about his son so I thought I’d take this space to share one that didn’t make the paper. It’s short, and it’s funny, and it’s a good illustration of how the McKinley family has been able to remember the good times from their son’s life despite his death in 2010 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The story goes like this: Georgia was recruiting Kenny, a high school quarterback in Georgia, to play defense, but Kenny wanted to play offense. Bulldogs offensive coordinator Mike Bobo, now the head coach at Colorado State, called Kenny one day to put on a little recruiting pressure.
"Coach Bobo called him and said, ‘Kenny we’ve got that one last spot we are holding for you as a defensive back,’" Ken McKinley said.
That did it for Georgia’s recruitment of McKinley. Kenny decided at that moment that he wasn’t going to Georgia. There was only one problem with that from his parent’s perspective. The Bulldogs were set to play LSU in Sanford Stadium later that week.
"We are from Louisiana, and Kenny’s mom is an LSU grad," Ken McKinley said. "I said, ‘Hey Kenny, hold on before you tell them that, me and your mom want to go to that LSU game.’"
You can read some of the other great stuff Ken McKinley said about his son here.