BE grad Karson Mingo to play football at The Citadel
Life as a knob at The Citadel is no fashion statement or a walk in the park. Just ask recent Bishop England graduate Karson Mingo, who loves football so much he will undergo a life-changing year at the school to play football.
“You get your head shaved, and then there’s ‘double time’ where you walk so fast on campus that everyone knows you are a knob.”
They are called knobs because their freshly shaved heads resemble doorknobs. But it’s more than that as Mingo will be tested physically and mentally in his first year in school.
But he knows the value of the education and experience. He will gain a ring and will experience an incredible network of opportunities when he graduates in 2022.
“I will be connected to The Citadel forever,” Mingo said. “The memories and bonds will last a lifetime.
“It seems Mingo has wanted to play college football for most of his life. He moved from Connecticut to Charleston just in time to begin his high school career at Bishop England, and by the time his senior season was complete, he was the leading tackler on the team, finishing with 131 stops, including 12 tackles for a loss and three quarterback sacks. He also returned an interception for a touchdown and scored another TD as a fullback.
He’s 215 pounds and is 5-foot-10. His height scared off some college recruiters, but there were intangibles, including the desire in his heart.
He considered attending Mars Hill in North Carolina, a NAIA school in Illinois and Coastal Carolina. But when Bulldog recruiting coordinator Scott Yiedling called and offered him a place on the team as a preferred walk-on, Mingo found his college home.
He is fascinated by playing football in Charleston in front of friends and family. He has a 2-year-old brother, who will be in the stands at Johnson Hagood Stadium on those spectacular fall days.
“He will be well versed in Citadel football by the time I graduate,” Mingo said.
Mingo seemed destined to play football. His father, Kevin, played high school ball and is currently the running back’s coach at Philip Simmons High School. His older brother played football in high school and now plays rugby at Coastal Carolina in Conway.
He also seemed destined to have the initials KM. That’s the initials of his parents, Kevin and Krista. His sister and four brothers also have KM as their initials: Kassidy (22), Khyle (20), Kaden (15), Kameron (11) and Kolton (2).
Mingo is well versed in discipline. It won’t be much of a shock when he begins his freshman year.
“My father was a state policeman in Connecticut, so he runs a tight ship.” Mingo said. “And my mom was a prison nurse.”
Four years is a long time in a teenager’s life. But Mingo is intent on what he plans to do after graduating from The Citadel.
“I want to be a sports agent,” Mingo said. “I want to negotiate contracts for players and set up merchandising contracts. I will major in business-finance and probably have to go to law school to be certified by the NFLPA (National Football League Players Association).”