McKinley ultimately signed with Cal but came up a few points shy of a qualifying score on the SAT, so he had to go the JC route.
After spending last fall playing for Contra Costa, and adding almost 30 pounds, McKinley is once again on the Bruins' radar, and this time, UCLA has offered.
"UCLA came by and Coach (Angus) McClure offered me," said McKinley. "I was really excited. I was interested in them in high school and I'm definitely interested in UCLA again. With Anthony Barr going to the league, they're looking for someone that could come in and fill that position, and we play the exact same position."
A former prep teammate, Kenny Walker, is also at UCLA and McKinley said he'd be reaching out to Walker to talk Bruins.
"I'm going to hit up Kenny and talk about them more, but he was trying to get me to come there and get an offer in high school," said McKinley.
McKinley said missing out on Cal hurt at first, but the time at Contra Costa has brought value to him.
"I feel like the JC route was a good thing for me," said McKinley. "I'm taking it more slow this time."
And Cal is still in the mix.
"I talked with Coach (Sonny) Dykes not long ago and they want me back," said McKinley.
McKinley said he had an ever-changing top five, but the one he has now is heavy on the Pac-12.
"My top five, in no order, is Arizona State, Texas, UCLA, USC and Missouri. That could change any day and has been changing. I'm just trying to take it slow, so I have no real favorites. I just want to keep my eyes open going through the recruiting process, this time. And I want to take all five visits."
McKinley said his academic focus has been strengthened too having to go to Contra Costa.
"I'm working on my academics and keeping them up so I can get out of here," said McKinley. "There is a chance I could go in December, but if not, then I'll graduate in May and be somewhere for next season (2015)."