The Oklahoma spring game was a chance for 2016 signees to be joined by 2017 commitments but don’t forget about the 2018 targets.
The Sooners were able to bring some noteworthy names for the 2018 class, including another visit from Plano (Texas) Prestonwood Christian cornerback Verone McKinley.
Already a four-star prospect and offered by OU last spring, this was the second trip to McKinley to Norman in a month.
He visited for a spring scrimmage a few weeks ago, but he said the goal was to try to be there for a game-like atmosphere. Even though McKinley visited OU last year, it was during the summer, and he has yet to see a game in Norman.
“With OU being one of my top schools right now, I wanted to watch the defensive backs again and see the environment,” McKinley said. “It wasn’t a game, but there were like 45,000 fans there so it was kind of like that atmosphere.”
McKinley said he’s enjoyed his back-to-back trips to OU and said he will make sure to return to Norman for a home game this fall.
Other than that, it was business as usual for McKinley on his visit. He said he spent some time with OU’s strength coaches but spent the majority of the time with the 2017 commits, many whom he has already developed a great relationship with.
“They’re a great group of guys,” McKinley said. “They push me to commit every time I’m up there. It’s always a good time with cool people. It was a lot of fun.”
The goal remains for McKinley to take a number of trips, ranging from Florida to Ohio State to USC to UCLA to get a better feel of what’s out there for him.
The one thing that will no doubt continue to help the Sooners in this race is McKinley’s relationship with defensive backs coach Kerry Cooks and the fact Cooks was one of the first coaches to make the offer last year.
“It’s definitely a program on the rise,” McKinley said. “Coach Stoops has things going so well right now, and I have a great relationship with Coach Cooks. I’ve gotten to know him a lot in the last year.”
The consensus for now is that McKinley will end up at cornerback, but McKinley said he spent the spring game watching safeties Steven Parker and Ahmad Thomas. He said he enjoyed watching them work and watching their technique.
OU is going to be in the picture for a while, but McKinley said the plan is no doubt to see other schools. That could happen as early as this week as he said he might head up to Stillwater for Oklahoma State’s spring game.
McKinley has fared well at spring camps and his profile should only get higher in the months to come.