Jump to content

Sniffing and Snipping... Tyler McKinnon Shares Coach Sutton's Insights


Recommended Posts






McKinnon sniffing out success as Colquitt football team player

  • By Matthew Brown
    • 10 min ago
McKinnon scores TD
Alan Cortez

MOULTRIE – Sniffing. Snipping.

Talk with Colquitt County High senior Tyler McKinnon, and those two words come to mind. It’s about his role on the Packer offense, and part of his future plans.

McKinnon’s role for head coach Rush Propst and offensive coordinator Jeff Hammond is a unique one indeed. It’s one that doesn’t offer much chance for a touch of the football, certainly not in the numbers of a tailback. But McKinnon does get his opportunity to line up beside quarterback Steven Krajewski once in a while, like he did in the closing moments of last Friday’s first Region 1-7A game at Camden County High.


There was, in fact, just under five minutes remaining when McKinnon – on his second tote of a seven-play 53-yard drive – went up the middle for his first varsity touchdown. The 17-yard punctuated Colquitt County’s 27-6 win against the Wildcats for a record of 7-1 overall heading into Senior Night this upcoming Friday vs. Tift County.

“It felt good scoring,” said McKinnon after Tuesday’s evening practice session at Mack Tharpe Stadium. “I don’t really get the ball a lot. I normally block. It felt pretty good going in there, getting the touchdown, being there for my team.

“Everybody (on the sideline) was real excited. They congratulated me. Everybody was there being a part of the team.

Offensive linemen certainly expect to block every play, that being No. 1, No. 2 and any other number in the position’s job description. Tight ends do need to block, but numerous ones over the years earned recognition as quality receivers and touchdown scorers. Tailbacks win all kinds of trophies at any level, mainly for yards and TDs.

If you are not a lineman, an end, a wideout or a featured back, you are the lesser heralded blue-collar player in football. Call it the fullback or the H-back, but these guys have to be team players. They also have to be dedicated to developing strength and technique in order to deal with those massive defenders on the other side.

McKinnon, like everybody else going through Propst’s program, puts in the days on the field, in the film room and in the weight room with the goal of becoming a champion.

“When you first come up, you start at the bottom. You have to gradually build yourself up,” said McKinnon, whose only showing on the stat sheet is six carries for 39 yards and one nine-yard catch. He had four varsity carries in 2016. “Build yourself up. Build yourself up. You get the ultimate opportunity to do what you need to do. When you get that, you have to follow through with it. Go hard.

“You have to have a positive mindset and stick to it.”

O.K. So what is this unusual position McKinnon plays. What he does most of the time is – with the quarterback always in the shotgun – get up right behind a guard and tackle looking in the space between them.

“Sniffer,” he said. Yes, that’s what he called it. Sniffing what, we don’t want to know.

“It’s a real tough position,” he said. “You have to be hard-nosed. You have to be willing to go and hit, block somebody.”

The primary target for the ‘sniffer’ is either a linebacker or defensive end. McKinnon checks in at 176 pounds, so it’s probably always a size mismatch.

“I’m a little undersized,” he said. “I still go in there with my strength and my mindset. I’m always willing to go hit somebody.

“Coach (Shawn) Sutton always preaches balance strike. When I get there, I want to balance strike, right foot, left foot. When you balance strike, you want to drive your feet and then duck walk.”

Whatever the play, there could be a receiving route in there, too. Any fan watching the game must feel there’s nothing better, though, than holding that football to make yards and points. McKinnon just does what he has to do to make a play work.


“It doesn’t matter. I’m not a selfish person,” he said. “As long as I get to go out there and help my team.”

McKinnon did start his Packer career as a running back, so if he is called to spell Ty Leggett or Daijun Edwards, he knows what to do there. Now that he has tasted paydirt, it might only be the beginning. The Packers will need all able bodies functioning to get all the points they can against a high-powered Tift County offense this Friday and the state’s new No. 1, Lowndes High, on the road Oct. 27. These games will decide who goes where in the Class 7A state tournament.

“If they feel like I need to be in the (backfield) to score a touchdown, I’m willing to be in there,” said McKinnon.

There’s lots of other life lessons that come with being a Colquitt County football player. He said Sutton’s all about loving and trusting your teammates.

“‘Always remember, everybody didn’t wake up this morning, but you had a chance to wake up this morning,’” said McKinnon quoting Sutton. “‘Get up and be better.’

“Teammates always boost you up. Sometimes you have trouble. They are there to pick you up and tell you to do better. The other coaches are always there to tell you that you have to see the bigger picture.”

McKinnon has a brother on the varsity team, junior linebacker Kendrick Neloms, and he considered themselves to be best friends. He’s excited to seem him work into the rotation gradually on the Colquitt defense.

In school, McKinnon said he’s a good math student and he’s always there to help anyone. One day, he might take this experience as a role player into football coaching. Or, what was that word ‘snipping’ about? If not a coach, McKinnon might become a …


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...