Bay Area native fulfills promise to grandma after being signed by Falcons

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The emotional Richmond native and UCLA pass-rusher took the stage in Philadelphia holding a picture of his late grandmother, Myrtle Collins. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Diehard football fans love the drama of the NFL Draft. But even people who are not football fans are captivated by an Oakland native who turned the draft stage into something like you would see in movies.

Takk McKinley is a UCLA pass rusher who was born in Oakland, raised in Richmond and graduated from Kennedy High School.

But the cartoon-loving, laid-back McKinley was not on display Thursday night during the NFL draft.

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After the Atlanta Falcons picked him in the first round, 26th overall, McKinley took the stage, clutching a picture of his late grandmother Myrtle Collins.

She raised the future star, who never knew his father and whose mother left him when he was 5.

Collins supposed McKinley by collecting water bottles and soda cans.

She died in 2011, seconds after her grandson made her a promise. "She means everything to me. I probably wouldn't be here without here. Just to come this far, where I come from. Born in Oakland and raised in Richmond, California. A lot of people don't make it this far, a lot of people have talent but they don't get the opportunity I have. So I did this for my grandma, I did this for my family. I did this for my city," McKinley said.

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McKinley showed some remorse for his use of an expletive in his interview with Falcons media.

McKinley said, "I've probably got fined already."

Coach Dan Quinn said he appreciated the enthusiasm of the young defensive end.

The Falcons tweeted video of McKinley arriving in Atlanta.

Click here for the full ABC News story.
Related Topics:
sportsnflnfl draftAtlanta FalconsfootballfamilyelderlydistractionbuzzworthyRichmondOakland
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