If Randy McKinnon's family had their way, Indiana might already have their fifth verbal commit.
The 5-9, 200-pound safety from Potters House School in Jacksonville, Fla., has been receiving plenty of interest from the Hoosiers, and he and his family have taken notice.
"I like Indiana because it's a place you can call home," said McKinnon, who is being recruited by running backs coach Gerald Brown. "It's a nice city and a nice area, and it's a program on the rise. I saw the new facility they are building, a lot of different things they are doing.
"My family really likes Indiana also. They told me, from what they'd seen, to just commit."
While IU Coach Terry Hoeppner would likely love for McKinnon to go ahead and pledge for the '07 class, he'll likely have to wait a little while longer for a decision. In addition to IU, McKinnon also has written offers from Central Florida and Florida International, while South Carolina, Wake Forest and Georgia Tech have told him a scholarship offer is in the not-too-distant future.
McKinnon said his intentions are to wait to see what offers pan out, take his visits, and then begin to put together a list of finalists.
But he said if he had to point to his front-runners at this point, three come to mind.
"I get letters from Indiana just about every day handwritten, and Georgia Tech and South Carolina also," McKinnon said. "So if I was going to name a top three, those would be it."
While those programs might have emerged with their recruiting efforts this summer, McKinnon's decision is still on hold. He admits, though, that waiting isn't the easiest thing to do.
"(Waiting to commit) is kind of tough because sometimes you think I can't let this pass up," McKinnon said. "But at the same time you want to wait. I want to sit back and take it all in. But I'm positive Indiana will be in the top group. I like them. It feels like a good fit for me."
South Carolina and Georgia Tech, meanwhile, have their own strengths. McKinnon said he has a lot of family in the Atlanta area, and he came away impressed during a recent trip to Georgia Tech's summer football camp.
McKinnon made a trip to South Carolina, meanwhile, for their spring game in April, and the Gamecocks also have a familiar face running their football program.
"I grew up in the area around Florida and Florida State when Steve Spurrier was at Florida, and I know he'd play freshmen at Florida and has again at South Carolina," McKinnon said. "They're also losing a lot of people in their secondary, so there would be a good chance for me to play early."
All of the schools that have been showing interest in McKinnon are certainly intrigued by the versatility he could offer in the secondary. He spent his first three seasons at Jacksonville high school powerhouse Trinity Christian, where he was a standout safety and totaled more than 100 tackles and a pair of interceptions.
Most college programs were recruiting him to play strong safety in college, but there's a possibility he could be a factor at cornerback as well. At the Scout.com combine in Jacksonville in March, McKinnon ran a 4.56 in the 40, which was tops among all the safeties at the event. That time was bested by only five cornerbacks (out of 19) at the event, which included the likes of Miami, Fla. commit DeMarcus VanDyke and Rudell Crim.
"At first, at the end of the season they had their minds set on strong safety," McKinnon said. "But after going to a couple of camps, and them seeing film, they said I have the instincts to play corner. They asked which I prefer, and I honestly don't care – I just want to play football. I'll play corner or safety."
He might be open-minded about his future college position, but he realizes his ability to play either spot makes him even more attractive to Indiana and other programs.
"That helped tremendously," McKinnon said. "It gives them more options and me more options. If colleges aren't looking for a safety but instead a corner, I can come in and play corner. And a lot of colleges look at me as a return man.
"I feel playing that versatile role, on the football field opens a lot of recruiting doors for me."
Hoosiers Very High On McKinnon's List
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