Inside LB Countdown: McKinney’s Career Notes

Here is a look at the statistical milestones and career accolades of Mississippi State's Benardrick McKinney, who emerged as the No. 3-ranked inside linebacker following last week's meeting of league scouts.


Benardrick McKinney played in 39 games at Mississippi State, starting his final 36 contests at middle linebacker…Recorded 244 tackles (122 solos) with 7.5 sacks for minus 66 yards, 19.5 stops for losses of 89 yards and seven quarterback pressures…Deflected eight passes, caused one fumble and recovered six others.

NCAA Career-Record Results: Among active NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision players, McKinney placed 75 with 244 total tackles and 82nd with an average of 6.23 tackles per game…His 122 assisted tackles are 45th within this group.

School Season-Record Results: By leading the Bulldogs with 71 tackles in each of the 2013 and 2014 campaigns, McKinney became just the ninth player in school history to lead Mississippi State in tackles for more than one season…He also became just the third linebacker in school annals to earn first-team All-American honors (2014).


McKinney captured first-team All-American honors from ESPN, Football Writers Association of America, Phil Steele and Sports Illustrated, adding second-team accolades from the Associated Press, Sporting News and Walter Camp…Was also selected first-team All-Southeastern Conference from the league’s coaches, picking up second-team honors from the Associated Press…Named a semifinalist for each of the Bednarik, Butkus and Lombardi Awards...The leader of the MSU ‘psycho defense’ led the team for the second-straight year with 71 tackles, the same total he registered while pacing the Bulldogs during his sophomore season…Produced 35 solo hits with three sacks for minus-17 yards, eight stops for losses of 25 yards and three quarterback pressures…Recovered three fumbles and recovered another, as he also broke up four pass attempts.


McKinney concluded his career with a team-best 10 tackles in the Orange Bowl vs. Georgia Tech…Totaled nine tackles, one sack and another stop-for-loss vs. Texas A&M and tied a team high with seven tackles in the win at Louisiana State…Was named MSU’s Defensive Player of the Week following the win vs. Alabama-Birmingham, as he posted a season-high 12 tackles to go along with a career-best 3.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage. He also became the first MSU player since Fletcher Cox in October 2011 to record at least 3.5 stops-for-loss in a single game…Recovered a fumble, made five tackles and had a pass break-up in the win vs. Auburn…Delivered four solo tackles, forced a fumble for the first time in his career and also recovered a fumble vs. Kentucky.


McKinney was named to College Football News’ Sophomore All-American squad, as the middle linebacker led the Bulldogs with 71 tackles (42 solos), also pacing the team with 3.5 sacks for minus-36 yards while tying for the squad lead with seven stops for losses of 44 yards…Credited with four quarterback pressures and two fumble recoveries, advancing one 26 yards.


Recorded a team second-best seven tackles in the season-opener vs. Oklahoma State… Turned in the year’s best game at Auburn, leading team with nine tackles, as he got off to a strong start vs. the Tigers, recording four stops in the opening quarter, and six in the initial half...Tied for team lead with five tackles vs. Troy, all in the first half, as he also returned a fumble 26 yards in the opening quarter vs. the Trojans...Tied for the team lead with eight tackles vs. Bowling Green and posted 10 tackles vs. Kentucky (10/24), including five in the opening quarter...Recorded his first sack of the season at South Carolina, hitting Connor Shaw for a 13-yard loss in the first quarter...Booked a personal-best 1.5 sacks at Texas A&M, dropping Johnny Manziel twice for a combined loss of 19 yards, as he also paced the Bulldogs with six total tackles vs. the Aggies.


McKinney was named first-team Freshman All-American by, Phil Steele, FoxSportsNext and…Burst onto the scene as one of the top underclassmen linebackers in the country, playing in all 13 games, including starts in his last ten appearances…Led all SEC freshmen and tied for second among freshman in the major college ranks with 102 tackles (45 solos), which also ranked sixth overall in the SEC…Totaled 4.5 stops for losses of 20 yards that included a 13-yard sack, as he also had four pass deflections and a fumble recovery…Made eight tackles in his road debut at Troy and posted a season-high 1.5 stops-for-loss to go with eight total tackles in the home victory vs. South Alabama...Named Co-SEC Freshman of the Week after posting 12 tackles (10 solos), a stop-for-loss and his first two career pass breakups in the SEC road win at Kentucky...Racked up a season-high 14 tackles the next week at home vs. Tennessee and registered a 13-yard sack and four tackles at Alabama...Made 14 tackles at home vs. Texas A&M and tallied eight stops and a fumble recovery in the home finale vs. Arkansas.


McKinney enrolled at Mississippi State, but did not play on the varsity, spending the schedule as a member of the scout team.


No major injuries reported.


4.66 in the 40-yard dash…1.63 10-yard dash…2.73 20-yard dash…4.27 20-yard shuttle…7.21 three-cone drill…40 1/2-inch vertical jump…10’-01” broad jump…Bench pressed 225 pounds 16 times…33-inch arm length…9-inch hands…80 1/8-inch wingspan.

Dave-Te’ Thomas is a sports writer, talent evaluator and scouting personnel consultant for a majority of teams in the National Football League. Thomas runs a scouting information service called NFL Scouting Services and produces The NFL Draft Report, a publication provided by league headquarters to the media in preparation for the NFL Draft.

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