Inside the Class of 2005

Garden City's Justin McKinney signed with Kansas State in 2002, prior to enrolling at Garden City due to academic issues. Recruited again by the Cats this year, McKinney said Kansas State was always in his heart and his decision to re-commit to Kansas State was the right choice for him.

Originally from the state of Florida, Justin McKinney joined the late recruiting effort and helped solidify a very talented defensive class for the Cats. A very fast and quick DB with good upper body strength, McKinney said his decision to go to Kansas State was based on a couple different criteria.

"Kansas State was there for me and I am going to be there for them 100%. I just love Kansas State and it just looks like there is just good people in Manhattan Kansas. I got nothing but love for Kansas State and I love the K-State atmosphere. I have seen what they can do and how they handle their players after they graduate. Coach Snyder and Coach E- I love those guys and they have always been there for me. I just want a chance and to be honest I think I did not get the attention that maybe some of the other players and recruits got and that just makes me want to work harder you know. I want to go out there and prove myself. I just want a chance to let everyone know what I can do," McKinney told KStateFans.

At just a hair under 5-foot-11, Justin McKinney was recruited to play cornerback for the Cats and his JUCO coaches say the extra time at Garden City has improved this talented DB.

"Justin is going to do a great job for K-State. He has grown while he has been here and is a very talented player. But the difference is that he has grown not only physically but he has also matured emotionally, mentally and also physically. He is going to do really well for Kansas State."

We spoke with the newest Wildcat about his decision to re-sign with K-State and his thoughts on playing time and the state of the program.

"Well, let me put it this way. Kansas State is known for their defense. Look what Terrance Newman did for them and look what they put out each year. I am just happy to come in and try and fill in on some of that tradition. I know what I can do on the field. I play lockdown, that is my best skill and when I am at my best and I am very confident is what I can do on the field and you know in my abilities."

Asked about the decision of his teammate Rodney Allen to sign with Kansas, McKinney laughed a bit and said he hoped things had turned out differently.

"Yea, I thought I would get to play with Rodney. But he made the decision that he made and is a grown man and I respect that. I really did not talk to him after he made his decision though. I can tell you this, I did not want to talk to him after that because I do not want to have any feelings for someone I have to play against- let's put it like that. It's cool though, I respect him and why he made his decision but he went somewhere else and there is no Kansas State on his jersey."

Justin will get his chance to play for Kansas State at cornerback and in talking with him, one thing is rapidly clear and that is that this young man wants to make a statement and validate his scholarship.

"The coaches are going to stick me out there and let me do my thing which is tight coverage. We have talked about playing and that is where they are going to use me and where I am at my best. I just want to show everyone what I can do. I think I am underrated but I hope to change that real quick and I am really happy to get with Kansas State again. Just let everyone know I am coming down there and hopefully I can help them out in the backfield. I am working really hard right now to get ready," said McKinney.

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