Army junior Brinson at top of his class

Army linebacker Kenneth Brinson takes down an opponent in a Nov. 14, 2015, game against Tulane.


By SAL INTERDONATO | The Times Herald-Record, Middletown, N.Y. | Published: December 16, 2017

WEST POINT, N.Y. (Tribune News Service) — Nothing usually flusters Army junior linebacker Kenneth Brinson, but he said he was "sweating" this weekend.

Brinson wasn't worried while studying film of Army's next opponent – San Diego State, in the Armed Forces Bowl on Dec. 23. Rather, the chemical engineering major was cramming for five term-end exams, or "TEEs" as they are called at West Point, in a three-day span starting Saturday. Brinson, a three-year starter on the football team, has earned straight A's in every course he's taken since he's stepped on post.

"It's going to be crunch time soon," said Brinson, who has 35 tackles, four sacks and two forced fumbles this season.

Brinson carries a 4.06 grade-point average and was recognized as one of the country's top scholars by his selection as a first-team academic all-American. A humble Brinson said the award was a "big surprise."

Army coach Jeff Monken said everyone on post – teammates, the Corps of Cadets, coaches and professors – respects Brinson.

How bright is Brinson? He tutors the tutors on post.

"They know the schedule he pulls with us," Monken said. "He's also on the track and field team. He's doesn't give himself a minute to rest, yet he does so well.

"That's an accomplishment for Kenny. He's responsible for that. That has nothing to do with our coaches or our team. That's something that he has earned."

Brinson, who competes in the hammer throw and discus, was named the 2017 Patriot League outdoor track and field scholar-athlete of the year.

Brinson's course load includes mechanical engineering and organic chemistry. He wants to attend medical school after graduating West Point with a path toward being an anesthesiologist.

When asked if he considers himself a candidate to be in a leadership position for West Point's Class of 2019, the top position among the Corps, Brinson said, "It would definitely be an honor to be selected for a position. To be honest with you, I feel like there are a lot more people suited to the task than me."

Humble, thankful and gracious are among the many fine qualities of Brinson that Monken admires.

"He had a great upbringing," Monken said. "His family has really formed a young man that has great humility. He's excelled for as long as he can probably remember in everything that he touched – wrestling, football, track. You name it, whatever he did, he's done it at a really high level."


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