With new responsibility, Brown says McKoy can be a top back in the Big 12

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Kennedy McKoy is one of the few Mountaineers among this year’s starters who have spent all four of his years contributing to West Virginia’s squad. On a team that admittedly lacks experience, McKoy provides an invaluable asset to the running back room.

He has been a factor in the backfield through all three of his seasons, steadily getting more touches each year. As McKoy’s carries have risen, so has is overall production — his 802 yards in 2018 totaled in the top ten of all rushers in the Big 12.

Now a senior, McKoy is the de facto leader of the running back corps — a role that is new to him in his football career.

“It’s a little bit of a different role for me, because I’m more of a ‘to myself’ guy and let my work do the talking,” McKoy said. “But, sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.”

While handling his locker room responsibilities, McKoy still looks to maintain his steady growth on the field. With his numbers, he has proven that he can be one of the top backs in the Big 12 — a title that Neal Brown says is attainable.

“He’s played at a high level in this conference before, I think his confidence is higher than it ever has been,” said Brown. “When you get into coaching, you can sense when guys are sitting on big years, and I am hopeful and believe that he’s sitting on a big year.”

Since last season, Brown says that McKoy has not only gotten stronger and gained weight, but he also excels at getting vertical.

“He’s a one-stick guy. He can get his shoulders going north and south extremely quick,” Brown explained. “He’s patient. He has very few negative runs.”

This season’s offense has a bigger emphasis on pass-catching for running backs. Having only caught 36 passes in his career so far, this is yet another adjustment McKoy is making ahead of this season.

Luckily for him, he says that role fits him.

“I think it suits me,” he said. “I like to catch the ball and I think I have good hands.”

Ultimately, McKoy needs to stay on the field this season in order to succeed. If he can, Brown says he has confidence he can be one of the best.

“He’s got a toughness about him that I like….He has courage,” said Brown. “I think if he can stay healthy, he’s sitting on a big year.”

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