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Issue Date: September 2013

Why We Love Football: Barkevious Mingo

Cleveland Browns
by Andre Knott

It's hard not to stand out when you go through life with the first name Barkevious. But the sixth overall pick in this year's draft is more than just a name that fits the Dawg Pound vernacular.

Out of uniform, Mingo's tall angular build makes him look more like an NBA star. But for the LSU Tigers, the linebacker played like a 6-foot-5 stick of dynamite thrown into the opponent's backfield.

A classic football late bloomer (he's played only five seasons), Mingo was a basketball and track standout in West Monroe, La. It took some prodding from classmates and coaches to get him on the gridiron, but we're glad he did. Mingo possesses 4.53 second 40-yard dash speed, a 37-inch vertical jump and 33 3/4-inch-long arms that make it tough for linemen to get their hands on him.

Some see his 240 pounds as slight for an NFL linebacker. He hears the whispers that he may need to gain weight to shine as a pro. But it doesn't concern him. "I'm a guy that gets to the ball fast, but who also is a hard nose football player," he says. With great effort, the quick first step he garnered on the track and the endurance he gained from basketball, he feels he can make Barkevious a name familiar to Browns fans for years to come. 

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