McKinney Talks Clemson

Louisville (Ky.) athlete James McKinney (6-3, 263, 4.9,'s #9 defensive tackle) now denies a leader but favors Michigan (12/10 official trip), Louisville, Clemson (12/3), Nebraska (11/21) and Oklahoma (12/17).

"Everybody's even at this point for me," says McKinney, from Central. "I'm going to compare and contrast these schools after I take all of my official visits.

"I like the defensive line coach (John) Blake at Nebraska. They also have a great academic graduation rate and great tradition there too. I like the overall history there. And the fans there are good people.

"I like the athletic department at Nebraska and the program overall. Coach (Bill) Callahan is doing a good job with those players. They've got a strong defensive line, and I think I'll be able to come in there and play. I'd be surrounded by great players if I went there.

"I enjoyed my official visit to Clemson. It's a great football town and South Carolina is a great football state. Justin Miller (cornerback) was my host and he really showed me the ropes there.

"I got to see the campus with him and he gave me a simulation of how the players come out of the locker room before their games. He also showed me what the student life is like there, and what it's like to be a student athlete.

"The highlight of the trip was seeing the renovations their doing to their football facilities. And the new facilities that are being built. They've got some state of the art stuff there and it would be a good place to be.

"On my trip people were walking up to me and they knew who I was. I had women and kids asking me for my autograph and it was just crazy. A negative to the trip was that I got food poisoning. It was good food but I just ate too much.

"If I went there I'd have he opportunity to play in a rich defensive line tradition. My positions coach (Ron) West (defensive line) is a great guy. My mother feels very comfortable with him and says he's a great man.

"My trip to Michigan this past weekend was good in terms of seeing the athletic and academic sides of the campus. But I didn't get to do too much because the students had finals and stuff. It was more of a business trip really.

"It definitely was not like my other official visits. Chris Graham (inside linebacker) was my host and we didn't do nothing at all. It was kind of boring and I'll leave it at that.

"The highlight of the trip was talking one on one with coach (Bill) Sheridan (offensive coordinator) -- that was the best thing about it. He spoke of how he wanted to utilize me at the defensive line position.

"I enjoyed being there--they have great tradition. And they also have a strong young squad of players. They've had some great classes there in the last two years and that is good for their future.

"Plus back to back Rose Bowl appearances is great. If I went there I'd have a good opportunity to win. But I don't know about any early playing time. They're building a strong recruiting class this year and they're going to be good.

McKinney says he will also officially visit either Ohio State or Florida. "I will not officially visit Louisville because it's so close to home." Top Stories