McKinley switches up top five schools

The Contra Costa (Calif.) College defensive end, Takkarist McKinley, is seeing his recruitment take off...

Contra Costa (Calif.) College defensive end Takkarist McKinley (6-3, 250), signed with Cal in 2013 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 added almost 30 pounds, McKinley is once again on several schools' radars.

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."

McKinley said he's nearing 20 offers, with schools like Arizona State, Texas, UCLA, Boise State, Fresno State, Washington State, Memphis, Maryland, Oregon State, USC and UAB the ones that are standing out.

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)."

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