"I am grateful," McKinley expressed, "To get these opportunities. It really means something that people really like my talent and the gifts that I have been given, so I am just really thankful."
McKinley recently named Alabama, Clemson, LSU, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Penn State, Texas A&M, and UCLA as his top nine programs, but the offers have not slowed down and he is still considering and evaluating new options as they come.
"Really those were kind of the main schools that were really pushing for me and talking to me," McKinley said of his Top 9 list. "So I just focused more on them for right now. It was about time to put that list out there because I am trying to make a decision in the spring time or somewhere around there."
McKinley has made junior day stops in at OU and TAMU and has a trip on the schedule for the upcoming LSU junior day in March, but he is still hoping to make some other stops as well.
"The highlight of A&M would be the 12th man studios. It was something I really enjoyed getting a tour of that. At Oklahoma I would say the the new facility and the new weight room and everything they were building was the highlight."
Last season was McKinley's first year playing against Texas 6A competition as he made the move to Hebron from Plano Prestonwood Christian Academy.
"It was hard," McKinley said honestly about that transition. "It was different. Different people, bigger guys, but really nothing changed for me I would say, I still played with the same attitude and I just tried to bring my A game to every game."
McKinley III -- who is rated as a Scout four-star prospect and the No. 255 prospect on the Top 300 -- earned First Team 5-6A All-District honors as a junior in 2016.