Bluegrass star likes UT

Tennessee is among the favorites for one of the most highly sought players in the Southeast.

James McKinney is a 6-3, 275-pound defensive tackle prospect from Central High of Louisville, Ky., who recorded 70 tackles, 20 tackles for loss and 9 sacks as a junior last season. Doubling as a tight end, he caught 14 balls for 290 yards and two touchdowns.

Given McKinney's eye-popping potential, it isn't surprising that major college football programs are beating down his door these days.

''I have 25 or 26 scholarship offers right now,'' McKinney told Jamie Newberg of ''I was committed to Michigan but I decided that I want to take some visits and open things up. They (Wolverines) are still my leader but about a month ago I decided I should back off a little.

''I didn't want to scare away other teams and my mom wanted me to slow down, so I make the right decision that I'm happy with. But I still love Michigan, the coaches and the atmosphere in Ann Arbor. I also like Notre Dame, Miami, Tennessee, Louisville, Kentucky, LSU and Oklahoma. They have all offered.''

McKinney, who also participates in baseball, basketball and wrestling, was a second-team all-state pick last fall. He plans to attend Michigan's and Notre Dame's football camps this summer, along with the upcoming MSL/ combine in Cincinnati.

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