Overview
Kenny McKinley was is a wide receiver for the Denver Broncos, who selected him with the 141st pick in the fifth round of the 2009 NFL Draft. McKinley attended the University of South Carolina, where he played for four years and became the school's all-time leading receiver.
Prep Career
McKinley played quarterback in high school at South Cobb High in Mableton, Georgia, where he threw for 16 touchdowns and rushed for 12 more in his senior year. Scout.com ranked McKinley as the No. 48 wide receiver in the class of 2005. He committed to South Carolina during his senior season, choosing the Gamecocks over North Carolina and Tennessee.
College Career
At South Carolina, McKinley converted to wide receiver, where he broke Sterling Sharpe's school records for receptions and receiving yards. He caught a pass in each of his last 43 games. McKinley started six games as a freshman and had one touchdown catch. He started all 13 games as a sophomore and ranked second on the team with 51 receptions and five touchdowns. He even threw for a touchdown against Kentucky. As a junior, McKinley emerged as a first-team All-SEC selection, leading the team with 77 receptions and nine touchdowns. In his senior season, McKinley missed three games with a hamstring injury, but finished with 54 catches, including four touchdowns. That allowed him to set the career marks of 207 catches and 2,781 yards. He finished his collegiate career with 19 touchdown receptions, tied for 2nd-most in team history. He had six receptions for 86 yards in a loss at Iowa in the Gator Bowl.
NFL Career
McKinley was selected in the fifth round (141st overall) of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos. Before the 2009 season, McKinley signed a four-year contract with Denver. He played in eight games in 2009 before being placed on injured reserve with a knee injury.
Death
McKinley was found dead at his home on September 20, 2010, from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. The Arapahoe County Sheriff's office confirmed the death as a suicide. McKinley's agent told ESPN.com, "Kenny was a pretty easy-going guy. I do know that being on the injured reserve was hard on him and it weighed on him... but there was nothing to suggest anything like this."
Conversation