SAN ANTONIO – Javon McKinley made an impact on the field before making a commitment.
McKinley, a four-star wide receiver, turned his targets into a pair of receptions and a touchdown for the West on Saturday in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. He then committed to Notre Dame during the telecast as the West rolled to a 37-9 win over the East.
Revealing his college choice and making a touchdown catch are moments McKinley won’t soon forget, especially given the stage.
“It was a phenomenal experience,” McKinley said. “I would definitely tell all the young guys to definitely work hard, get better. Definitely you want to get invited to this game. It’s definitely and experience you want to get to know.”
McKinley started and served as captain for the West, resulting in a couple early targets. But it wasn’t until the second quarter when he reaped the reward.
Ole Miss quarterback commitment Shea Patterson found a wide open McKinley from 10 yards out for a touchdown with 7:42 remaining in the half, giving the West a 19-0 lead before the ensuing extra point was blocked and returned for two East points.
“It actually worked out well,” McKinley said of the score. “How I come out, the outside receiver, we cross. When he sat in his route my cover guy ran right into him. It just left me wide open for a touchdown.”
McKinley wasn’t alone in his contributions from a Notre Dame perspective.
Four-star running back commitment Tony Jones Jr. had six carries for 18 yards for the East. He also started ahead of two other running backs. Four-star offensive tackle commitment Tommy Kraemer started and played right tackle for the East.
Jones hoped to impress and although the yardage might not have been what he wanted overall, the performance struck him as a positive learning experience.
“I think I played great,” Jones said. “Because, you know, I adapted to good players and small holes and stuff like that. It was great.”
Shannon scheduled for surgery
Long snapper commitment John Shannon finished his prep career by playing for East. He’ll now prepare to have the labrum in his shoulder surgically repaired after suffering an injury during his high school season.
Shannon consulted with the Notre Dame staff before choosing surgery.
“When I went down there for the USC game Dr. (Brian) Ratigan, the surgeon, looked at me,” Shannon said. “He said he thinks it’d be best if I get surgery because my shoulder is pretty loose. My labrum is not stable.”
Right now, Shannon said his shoulder is “pretty uncomfortable.” After surgery he expects a full recovery in four-to-six months.
Irish targets pitch in
- Five-star linebacker target Caleb Kelly made one tackle for the West while starting at outside linebacker. He is considering Notre Dame, Oklahoma and Oregon.
- Four-star cornerback target Jordan Fuller made two tackles for the East after being shaken up while playing the opening kickoff. He was in coverage when USC wide receiver commitment Tyler Vaughns leapt for a touchdown.
- Four-star athlete Demetris Robertson impacted special teams. He returned two kickoffs for 84 yards with a long of 60 before suffering an injury later in the game.