Former Sprayberry Athlete Jerick McKinnon was selected by the Minnesota Vikings in the 3rd round of this year’s NFL Draft. He played four years here at Sprayberry. He played several positions including defensive back, wide receiver, running back and quarterback. He was named first-team All-State by Georgia Sports Writers Association as an athlete, and was named Region 7 AAAA Player of the Year and Cobb County Quarterback of the Year. He passed for 1,500 yards and ran for 1,300 as a senior, and helped lead Sprayberry to a region championship junior season. He also earned two letters for Yellow Jacket track and field team, running the 100 meters, 4x100 and competing in the long jump.
Following his senior season, Jerick had many college offers, but the division 1 schools shied away from him saying he was just too short. He signed with Georiga Southern and began a four year career that would prove that all the big schools made a huge mistake in not signing him. He became GSU’s 3rd all-time leading 3,899 rushing yards and 42 touchdowns. He became a finalist for the Walter Payton Award. He shattered my school records. This knowledge he gained playing multiple positions in high school helped him as he played 5 different positions in college including; quarterback, running back, wide receiver, return specialist, and even defensive back. His final touchdown was the winning score as GSU upset the Florida Gators in front of a shocked crowd! He was selected to play in the National Senior Bowl and had a great showing competing with the Nations Senior players. With all this success the professional scouts still doubted his size. Again, thought to be too small for the rigors of the NFL game. He would be one of the stars of this year’s combine and raise many eye brows in his workout.
· Height: 5’9
· Weight: 209
· 40: 4.37 (2nd out of all running backs in the country)
· 20 yd shuttle: 4.12 (4th out of all running backs in the country)
· 3 cone: 6.83 (3rd out of all running backs in the country)
· Vertical: 40.5 (2nd out of all running backs in the country)
· Broad: 11 feet (2nd out of all running backs in the country)
· Bench: 32 reps at 225 lbs! (1st out of all running backs in the country)
Jerick’s jaw dropping numbers in the combine was finally enough to convince the NFL that Jerick is just too athletic to pass up and on Friday, May 9th, the Minnesota Vikings selected Jerick with their 3 round pick. Jerick was drafted to fill the need Minnesota has in a back-up role to the best running back in football, Adrian Peterson. Don’t bet that Jerick won’t be pushing the NFL All Pro and probable Hall of Famer for some of his playing time. Maybe people have finally figured out that betting against this guy is not a good thing and the teams that have him are always better when he is a part of their teams. Another safe bet is that there are many new Minnesota Viking fans in the State of Georgia right now! GO JERICK!!
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