Dan Mullen proud of Texans draft pick Bernadrick McKinney

He arrived at Mississippi State as a 6'3" 200 pound former quarterback from Tunica, Mississippi.

"Don't ask him to play quarterback, though, he can't throw" Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen joked when I, not so seriously, asked about his potential as the team's third quarterback.

Benardrick McKinney departed fours years later as one of the most decorated players to ever set foot in Starkville...as a 6'5", 250 lb. game changing linebacker.

In the words of the man that recruited him to Mississippi State, Mullen marveled at his outstanding drive and determination.

View photos of Benardrick McKinney's football career at Mississippi State.

"B Mac's going to show up every day and give everything he's got. Texans fans can expect him to do what he needs to, not only every Sunday, but every day." Mullen continued.

McKinney may wear battle red and deep steel blue in 2015 and beyond, but those that wear maroon are highly cognizant of what he did for the program in his three seasons on the field. The Mississippi State contingent arrived at SEC Media Days on Tuesday in Birmingham with 2015 on their minds but it wasn't hard for the Bulldog gang to recall their former defensive captain.

We've heard stories like McKinney's in the past. Not a highly recruited player. Chip on his shoulder. Proves to everyone he can play. Rinse, lather and repeat.

Mullen admitted as such when I spoke with him about McKinney.

"He was not a highly recruited guy but he's got a great frame, now I didn't know he was going to grow a couple of inches but we knew he was going to fill out" said Mullen.

Mullen said the staff threw McKinney into linebacker drills right away and the coaching staff realized they might have unearthed a gem.

"He has freaky athletic ability. He's 6'5", 250, he can run, jump, hit, play physical guy, nasty but he always plays with that chip on his shoulder. With the work ethic he has, the attitude he has, he's going to maximize what he's got."

After we finished our interview, Coach Mullen said he had heard some good things about him and he asked me what I thought about him in OTAs.

So, I told him of the moment in OTAs when McKinney was at inside linebacker and he was responsible for running down the seam covering a WR or TE down the middle of the field. I don't recall who the quarterback was but he attempted to drive the ball over McKinney's inside shoulder but the former Bulldog leapt in the air, reached behind him and snatched the ball for his second interception that day.

When I finished the story, Mullen just shook his head and said "see...freaky."

If there's anyone who would know, it's the guy that once recruited an all-state quarterback and stuck him at linebacker.

Not a bad move, Coach.

View photos of Benardrick McKinney's football career at Mississippi State.

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