“When Notre Dame first offered, there wasn’t a lot of contact, but recently there has been a lot,” McKinley said. “Coach Elliott says he really likes my grades and my athleticism, and he likes my feeling for the game and how I perform on the field. He likes that I’m humble, too.”
The Corona (Calif.) Centennial product says he’s most impressed by Notre Dame’s academic reputation.
“Notre Dame has great academics, and I watched them a little bit growing up,” McKinley said. “They have a great football team and a lot of tradition.”
He will get his first look at Notre Dame on April 24.
“I will be going to Chicago in April for a 7-on-7 tournament, and I’m going to make the drive down to see Notre Dame,” McKinley said. “Pretty excited.”
The 6-foot-2, 200-pound wide receiver’s list of favorites is fluid and is apt to be altered as he delves deeper into the recruiting process. Last weekend at The Opening Los Angeles Regional, he named Notre Dame as one of three schools (USC, Washington) recruiting him the hardest.
McKinley has upcoming spring visits planned to USC, California and Miami. He plans to take all five official visits in the fall before making a final decision.
“The academic program at the school will be very important to me,” McKinley said. “I want to major in business and accounting. I want to connect well with the coaches and see if I can envision myself living in that certain city for the next four years of my life. That’s pretty much it.”
As a junior, McKinley registered an impressive 91 receptions for 1,906 yards and 24 touchdowns.
“I’m a big, physical wide out that can run by you and make the big play,” he said.
McKinley is a four-star prospect and is ranked as the No. 5 wide receiver in the class of 2016 and No. 30 overall player.