Since the spring evaluation period opened up on April 15, the USC coaching staff has been logging the frequent flyer miles visiting a ton of prospects in recruiting hot beds like Texas, Florida and Georgia.
The Trojans even nabbed the commitment of three-star receiver Velus Jones from Saraland (Ala.) right outside wide receivers coach Tee Martin’s hometown of Mobile, Ala. With other out-of-state names like Josh Imatorbhebhe in Georgia, Miami’s Keyshawn Young and Tren’Davian Dickson in Texas popping up in the USC’s wide receiver recruiting, many have begun to wonder if the Trojans are going away from the ridiculously deep local crop of wideouts. While the top-end ability of some of the Southern California receivers has been questioned, there are still a handful of prospects that appear to be true talents.
One of those is Corona (Calif.) Centennial’s Javon McKinley, the No. 2 receiver in the state of California. The four-star recruit is ranked No. 6 at the position nationally and No. 30 overall in the Scout 300. How does McKinley feel about the Trojans’ recent surge of out-of-state activity, particularly at his position? Does he care about the number of other wideouts USC is looking at or plans to bring in?
Not at all. He’s ready for competition.
“I don’t look too much into it. For me, it doesn’t matter how many guys you got there, it’s whether you get there and compete to a level to start,” McKinley said. “That’s just what I look for. If I see, a school has a lot of guys, it doesn’t really matter to me.”
Instead, McKinley said the mindset required is that he’s going to beat them all out regardless.
He said he’s been in contact with Martin back and forth pretty continuously. Along with talking about the USC players that were just selected in the NFL Draft, including receiver Nelson Agholor, who went No. 20 overall in the first round, Martin has also reminded McKinley of the other receivers the Trojans have put in the league in recent years from Robert Woods and Marqise Lee to Dwayne Jarrett, Steve Smith and Big Mike Wiliams.
McKinley said the coaching staff is also trying to get him back to the USC campus and trying to find the best time to do that. They’ve basically given him an open invite to visit as long as he checks in beforehand with head coach Steve Sarkisian to make sure there will be coaches around since the staff is out recruiting all around the country.
But the USC coaches aren’t the only ones making trips around the nation. McKinley has been hitting the road as well, traveling with his B2G 5-stars 7-on-7 passing league team for tournaments.
“It’s real fun. I mean it’s a great experience, especially going out to Miami and seeing all the things out there, playing out there. Going to Chicago and playing out there. It’s a different experience. I’m looking forward to going back out there to Tallahassee to [the] IMG [Academy], if we qualify for that.”
While playing in Chicago, the B2G team took a visit to Notre Dame to check out the school, campus and football program.
“It was a really fun experience, especially going to Notre Dame — a school like that you hear so much about their tradition and they really do have it there. The facilities were really nice and the coaches were all really good guys.”
McKinley said that location isn’t a big deal for him and he believes that he could handle the brutal cold weather of a Midwest winter. McKinley is also looking into Ohio State and Tennessee as potential out-of-state targets, but he still wants to do more research into all the non-local schools that have reached out to him.
Right now, he’s focused on trying to heal a groin strain that he suffered last week while trying to adjust on a corner route that was thrown behind him. With the Northern California regional for The Opening on May 17, McKinley wants to be able to impress another slew of coaches along with proving the USC coaches have no reason to look anywhere except their back yard for the next big playmaker.
Check out Javon McKinley's recent highlights from the Passing Down 7-on-7 tournament: