Brandon McKinney Recaps Visit to Colorado, Cal, USC and Washington Remain on The Short List

July 5 -- Orange Lutheran (Calif.) defensive back Brandon McKinney visited Colorado last weekend and the Buffs are doing well with the talented safety...

It's a strong year for safeties out West and Brandon McKinney is among the very best.

McKinney, currently rated the No. 224 player in the Scout 300, is among the most athletic safeties out West, very rangy and is always around the ball. He has very good football instincts, ball skills and makes plays on both sides of the ball.

McKinney visited Colorado last week and said the Buffs are high on his list right now.

"I had a really good time, I liked it a lot there," McKinney said. "They had a team camp going on so I was able to do the visit and work out with the coaches. The campus and city of Boulder is beautiful and I enjoyed talking with the players and getting to know the coaches better.

"Boulder is a cool college town and basically built around the school. I like the small town feel of things there and felt very comfortable. All the players had nothing but positive things to say about the school, they like it a lot and you can tell it's a pretty close knit group. Everyone is very supportive and committed to taking to the program to another level."

McKinney said the CU coaching staff has made him a priority and is one of the schools recruiting him hardest right now.

"I was able to talk with Coach Tumpkin and Coach Clark, the DB coaches and had a good talk with Coach MacIntyre in his office as well," McKinney said. "Coch Mac talked about the program and how he runs things, what the team is built on. It's not just football, you can tell he cares about the person too and that's good to see.

"Another big thing with Colorado is the opportunity to play early there. That's something they're stressing to me, that there is a chance to come in and compete for playing time right away. I don't want to redshirt wherever I go so playing time is a pretty big factor in my decision."

McKinney is currently in Hawaii on a family vacation but will be coming home later today. Once he gets settled, he said he's hoping to set up two more unofficial visits.

"I want to get in touch with USC and schedule a visit there," McKinney said. "Coach Helton is personally recruiting me and they're one of the schools recruiting me hardest. I would say it's Colorado, USC and Washington that I talk to the most so hopefully I can get up to USC in the next week or so.

"I also want to try and visit UW on July 15. They're having a pretty big recruiting weekend with a lot of recruits coming up so I want to try and get there. I talk with Coach Lake and Coach Petersen a lot and have a good relationship with them. I visited last year when they played Utah and I like the campus and school a lot so I'm hoping to make it out there."

McKinney said Cal and UCLA are the two schools that would round out his top five.

"I'm talking with Coach Burns at Cal and I like them a lot," McKinney said. "I haven't heard much from UCLA, we've kind of lost contact over the spring so I'm focusing more on the schools that are recruiting me the hardest right now.

"As for making a decision, I'm playing that by ear. I've gone back and forth in my head about making a summer commitment or taking my visits in the fall. Right now, it's still up in the air, so like I said, if I feel ready to do it early, I will, if not, I'll play out the process and see what happens."

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