RECRUITING: 'Neck and neck right now'

The Bluegrass State's top player provided's Allen Wallace an update on his favorites and the Central High School senior claims a neck and neck race.

Louisville (KY) DE/TE James McKinney (6-3, 263, 4.9, Scout's #9 DT) still says Michigan leads slightly over Louisville, Clemson, Oklahoma and Nebraska

"Michigan is still my leader, but it's a slight lead right now," says McKinney, from Central. "But Michigan and Louisville are like neck and neck right now.

"I'm pretty familiar with the program at Michigan because I've been there a lot more than I've been to the others. It's not only the players that desire to win--everybody desires to win. The academic support they have there is great, and they're actually building a new academic support center that will be one of the best in the country.

"I like how they get the ball to their TE a lot, and the TE there usually plays a good role inside of their offense. They have a very balanced offense too. Also, as history shows, they are known to put a lot of TEs into the NFL. They're recruiting me as OLB/TE.

"The defense at Michigan is coming along nicely. They are recruiting some big-time players, and if they get everybody they want, they'll be a solid team. It's too bad they missed out on Justin King (DB), but they're coming after recruit, Victor Harris (DB) pretty hard. I also really like coach (Jim) Herrmann a lot.

"Louisville is my number two school. They are doing some great things in the ACC East. I like their new defensive coord, coach (Mike) Cassity (safeties). He's from Illinois. I like how they rush their DEs and also bring like seven men to rush the QB sometimes. That's my type of defense. They're kind of thin on their defensive line and I'd like to go in there and compete for some early playing time. They are recruiting me as a DE.

Coach (Bobby) Petrino is a great motivator. My cousin, Steve McKinney (CB) goes there now and is a redshirt FR. That helps my decision to go there, but I won't totally base it on that. It would also be nice to take my hometown team to a national championship."

Other offers include LSU, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Florida, USC, Kentucky and Oklahoma State.

McKinney will officially visit Nebraska (11/26), Oklahoma, Clemson and Michigan.

SR (10-2) stats: 70 tackles/10 sacks/3 blocked FG/4 batted passes/7 FC

2.9/17 ACT/Dec retake

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