Cedric McKinley learned life lessons from personal-care work

Cedric McKinley (Handout)

Cedric McKinley (Handout)

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:35 PM ET

Cedric McKinley is here because the Edmonton Eskimos think they see something special in him.

But there’s a group of kids back home who already believe it.

A hulking, 6-foot-6, 300-pound behemoth of a defensive tackle on the field, the 27-year-old native of Demopolis, Ala., is the gentlest of giants when it comes to working with the youngsters in between football jobs.

“Last year, I was working with autistic kids,” said McKinley, who didn’t know anything about the neural disorder before becoming a personal-care assistant. “Once I found out through working with them, I started appreciating more in life.”

Both where he’s been and where he was going as a football player.

“Once I got the opportunity to come here I was just like, thank God,” said McKinley, who had missed out on an opportunity to play Arena League with the San Jose Sabrecats two years ago. “I only made it to the second week of training camp, that was it.


Videos

Photos