Q&A with MSU's McKinney
Published: Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 8:43 p.m.
Five questions with Mississippi St. freshman LB Benardrick McKinney
Q: You're second among freshmen in tackles this season and an All-SEC candidate. Did you expect to have this type of success this quickly?
A: I didn't really expect it to happen this quickly because there's so many good linebackers here on my team. I'm just trying to learn from the older guys like Cam (Lawrence) and Deontae (Skinner) and play my best.
Q: Chris Wilson was promoted to defensive coordinator this season. How has he helped your development?
A: Coach Wilson has been great to play for because he always puts me in a position to do well. He is always with the defensive line though so it's been Coach (Geoff) Collins that has made me a better linebacker. I wouldn't be where I'm at without either of them though.
Q: You guys went through a rough three-game losing streak, but how good was it to bounce back with a dominant effort against Arkansas?
A: Getting back on the right track with that “W” was huge for us because we know we're a good team. We just hadn't been playing like it. After giving up those first two scores, we just looked at each other and said, ‘They're not scoring again.'
Q: This is only your first year experiencing it, but what have you heard regarding the rivalry between Mississippi State and Ole Miss?
A: I've heard that it is the loudest, craziest, nastiest rivalry I'll ever be part of. I was there last year when we won by four touchdowns and even though it was pouring down rain, it was the most intense game I've ever seen in person. I can't wait.
Q: You were recruited by Ole Miss and LSU. What was the main factor in your decision to choose to play for Mississippi State?
A: It definitely goes back to Coach (Dan) Mullen. He's such a great coach and a father figure to everyone. He's the reason why we're on the rise and why we're going to a third straight bowl game. He's why I came here, and I don't regret it for a second.