Three days into East practices, McKinney says "everything is going well." He is going up against some of the wider bodies he's ever seen every day when he faces off against the East offensive line.
"You don't see that every day in Kentucky and I am glad," he said. "They are all big and athletic. I think they must all play basketball. It's fun going against the best."
He's heard from most of the big time programs in the country, but he's got a list of six that really have his interest. He's already visited Michigan, Clemson and Nebraska and says "I'm supposed to be taking a visit to Florida or Oklahoma. I already visited Louisville."
Oklahoma relies on the stability of a coaching staff that has won 66 of 78 games in the past six years, but despite Oklahoma's success and the newness of a Florida staff, the Gators have postured themselves to earn a visit.
"All the players [who are] talking about going to Florida are trying to get me to go there," he said without revealing the names of the enthused potential Gators. "I don't know I might go ahead and do it (take the Florida visit). I have to call Coach (Greg) Mattison (Florida co-defensive coordinator). He was my favorite defensive line coach. I camped with him at Notre Dame."
McKinney has narrowed down the schools on his list by following a criterion that includes academics and of course, football.
"The people and academic support are very important," he said. "Is the team family oriented? Is everyone helping each other out, no individuality? I want the team concept."
He said competition at his position doesn't bother him in the least.
"Depth charts are not an issue," he said. "The best player plays. If I am the best player, they are going to play me."
McKinney has a great attitude, certainly one that Coach Urban Meyer would like to instill into his team as he puts together his first recruiting class at the University of Florida. Meyer is opening eyes with his ability to get top prospects to visit Florida. Earning a visit from James McKinney would be a real coup for the first year Florida coach.
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