Elite JUCO DL knows first three visits

One of the top JUCO players on the market this year is San Pablo (Calif.) Contra Costa JC defensive end Takkarist McKinley. The athlete has set up his first official visit and has a good idea about two more.

Takkarist McKinley played his high school ball in Richmond (Calif.) Kennedy and signed with California. He was a raw prospect with huge upside because of his 6-3, 240 pound frame and crazy track times for a big man including a 10.6 posting.

"I never got to enroll at Cal," McKinley said. "I was 30 points short on my test score so I enrolled here at Conta Costa and it has been great for me. My coach, Alonzo Carter, has been a huge help guiding me through the process and I've grown a lot as a player and a person."

McKinley had a solid freshman season totaling 43 tackles, 18 for loss and 10 sacks. He's an edge rusher with pure speed and is still fine tuning some things technique wide but that same upside is definitely still there.

On the recruiting front, McKinley is nearing the 20 offer mark and set up his first official visit.

"I'm going to Arizona State (Nov. 22)," McKinley said. "Coach Ball at ASU has been recruiting me longer than anyone and I really like him a lot. He's a great guy and that's a great school so I'm excited to get up there and check out the place.

"Texas and UCLA are the other two that will for sure get visits. I'm looking at (Oct. 12) for UCLA, when they host Oregon and (Nov. 27) for Texas when they host TCU. I'm not sure if Texas wants me to visit during or after the season so that's kind of on hold right now."

McKinley said he has a good relationship with coaches from the Bruins and Longhorns.

"I like UCLA a lot and they're on me hard," McKinley said. "Coach Angus McClure and Coach Ulbrich are talking to me and they recruited me in high school. Plus Kenny Walker, a former teammate, is there and we talk all the time about playing together in college.

"Texas is a great school and I actually talked to Coach Strong not long after he got the job. They offered me in early April and Coach Strong and I talked for a good 20-30 minutes. He's a great coach and a great man and I can't wait to get out there."

Schools continue to come by and visit daily and a few more offers could be close.

"Oregon is supposed to come by tomorrow," McKinley said. "Miami is real close to offering and I just got Kansas State and Tennessee recently. USC was here last week filming me at practice so we'll see what happens there. I do plan to take all five of my visits and go through the process. In high school, I committed way too early so I learned a lesson and I want to be sure of what I'm doing now.

"I'm talking to Cal again but I can visit there any time, I don't need to use an official visit. Oregon State is another school I like and I'm considering them for an official but ASU, Texas and UCLA are the main three right now that I'm locking in and then we'll go from there."

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