"I feel comfortable with Michigan and I know the program over there," says McKinney. "There's a 30-percent chance I'll choose Michigan. They're recruiting me as a TE and though there's a bit of a depth chart at the position, they're talking about playing two TEs. They've got a solid TE tradition over the past couple years. But I don't like the fact that their defense is a 3-4. I've also got a cousin (Grant Mason) that plays DB over there--a transfer from Stanford."
McKinney also likes Nebraska because of the NFL-caliber coaching staff in place in Lincoln.
"Nebraska has that good blackshirt defense," McKinney said. "And coach (John) Blake (DL) coached for the Dallas Cowboys. He's seen many great players and has guaranteed me that if he coaches me, I'll be able to get to the next level. Most of their coaching staff has experience in the pros--like coach (Randy) Jordan, who played for the Raiders for several seasons. They run the team like it's a pro team."
Clemson, according to McKinney, has recruited him the strongest and has impressed him with their attention to detail.
"Clemson's process of recruiting has been the strongest," McKinney said. "I've gotten handwritten letters from their staff everyday for the past month expressing their great defensive line tradition and their need to have me play for them in their conference. They want me to play immediately and I like coaches (Tommy) Bowden, (Ron) West (OL asst), and (Dabo) Napier (grad asst/defense).
Ohio State is high on list because of their location and coaching staff.
"I like the location of Ohio State and their solid tradition," said McKinney. "They coach players to win. I like coach (Jim) Heacock (asst HC/DL) because he believes in both the fundamentals and the technique in the player. He could get me to the next level.
And Louisville, the hometown school, appears to round out the star prospects upper tier of choices.
McKinney claims a 2.9 GPA and scored 17 on the ACT which he'll retake in October.