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Sept. 20, 2010

Photo Gallery – Kenny McKinley

The South Carolina football squad was stunned and saddened Monday night when they learned of the death of former Gamecock standout wide receiver Kenny McKinley.

McKinley, 23, died on Monday in Denver, Colo. He was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the fifth round in the 2009 NFL Draft with the 141st overall selection. He appeared in eight games for the Broncos in 2009 before being placed on injury reserve with a knee injury. The Broncos had placed him on injured reserve on August 5, 2010 with another knee injury.

“I saw him here – he came to the Georgia game,” said head coach Steve Spurrier. “He seemed in good spirits. Great smile like he always had. I don’t understand it if it happened the way they say. It’s hard to comprehend. Kenny was certainly one of my favorite all-time players. He was a wonderful guy. It’s hard to figure out why this happened. It’s a sad day.”

McKinley finished his South Carolina career as the school’s all-time leader in both career receptions (207) and career receiving yards (2,781). He also set the school record by catching a pass in 43 straight games from 2005-08. He scored 19 touchdowns during his Gamecock career.

The No. 12/15 South Carolina Gamecocks (3-0, 1-0 SEC) were back at the Bluff Road “Proving Grounds” Monday night as they began preparations for Saturday’s SEC showdown at No. 17/14 Auburn (3-0, 1-0 SEC). Game time Saturday is set for 7:45 p.m. ET (6:45 p.m. at Jordan-Hare Stadium) with a national television audience watching on either ESPN or ESPN 3D.

The Gamecocks will return to the practice fields on Tuesday afternoon at 4:15 p.m.