Aiken’s McKay to kick for Runnin’ Bulldogs

February 8, 2019

Austin McKay was glad a stressful recruiting process finally came to an end Wednesday.

The college interest and offers came late for McKay, which he said isn’t out of the ordinary for kickers. An offer came from Gardner-Webb at the end of January, and within a week he was committed.

Two days later, he signed to play Division I football for the Runnin’ Bulldogs.

“I can’t even put words to it,” said McKay, who overcame a difficult rebuilding process at Aiken High to reach the next level. “I spent four years with this team – I was one of the lucky guys other than Jeremiah (Green) that got to start as a freshman and make an impact early.

“A lot of coaching changes around here. I did the number the other day – about 28 or 29 different coaches I’ve seen since I’ve been here. It makes me feel good that I stuck with it. Now I’m here, so anything’s possible.”

McKay has a few academic interests, and he’s currently leaning toward studying computer science. His academics mirror his athletics – he played multiple sports at Aiken High, and even in football he didn’t limit himself to kicking.

Head coach J.W. Montgomery remembers McKay being one of the first Hornets he met when he took the job before the 2017 season. McKay offered to help out at wide receiver if Aiken needed it, and he took snaps as the Hornets’ backup quarterback. Kicking, however, is where he proved to be the biggest weapon.

“I tell you right now, he really came on really strong throughout the summer,” said Montgomery. “Grew a little bit, got stronger in his legs. Every time we got down to the 40-yard line, 35-yard line, it was like, ‘Coach, you know I’m good, so you ain’t got to stress.’ I was like, ‘You’re right, I ain’t got to stress.’”

“He was just a weapon that you always want to have, especially on kickoffs putting it in the end zone. That really made covering kickoffs really easy.”