RECRUITING: Electrifying McKay tripping to WSU

THE ELECTRIFYING <b>Gardner McKay II</b> out of Los Angeles is coming to Pullman on an official visit this weekend. There's a four way tie at the top for the speed merchant and CF.C spoke with both his coach and to McKay -- who could be making a decision on his college of choice sometime very soon.

Gardner McKay II has Washington State, Oregon State, Fresno State and San Diego State in a dead heat right now atop his list. All four have offered. Washington, UCLA, USC and Colorado have all shown interest in the speedy CB/WR and special teams standout.

Of the four who have offered, Washington State, OSU and Fresno State are recruiting the 6-0, 165 burner the hardest right now. WSU coaches Bill Doba and Kelly Skipper were by recently to visit with McKay and his family.

"They are," affirmed McKay when asked how hard the Cougs are recruiting him. "They've been contacting me. They had a house visit, coach Skipper and the head coach came by from Washington State. They were nice coaches. I just want to get a better feeling for them when I get a chance to go up there. Fresno State and Oregon State have all been by for a house visit -- all three have been on me."

McKay, also a top performer in track and field, didn't put a timetable on when he might pull the trigger but it sounds like a decision could come sooner rather than later.

"I'm not even sure," said McKay. "But very soon, very soon."

ON HIS TRIP to Washington State this weekend, in addition to spending more time getting to know the coaches, McKay ticked off a list of things that will help him decide if Washington State is the right school for him.

"Academic wise, how is the school. How many players came out of Washington State and went on to the NFL. And I want to look at the environment, see how the campus is. I want to check out the players, I just really to get to know everybody."

One thing he's already certain of -- the style of position coach he wants to play for at the next level, one that mirrors that of his coaches at Crenshaw.

"Hard on me. I just want them to be hard on me. Because at Crenshaw -- these coaches are really strict -- they really teach you the best. So for me, I've learned a lot at Crenshaw High school. I know a lot of techniques and footwork and everything but I just want to learn more, to help get me to the next level."

Most schools, including Washington State, are recruiting McKay to play the corner although some schools are recruiting him as a wide receiver. He also hopes to continue his track and field career in college but knows that football could take up most of his time.

"I would love to. I ask every college about their track program but what they've been telling me is with Spring Ball, I might be all caught up in Spring Ball so I might not have a lot of time to run track."

AFTER HIS VISIT to Washington State this weekend, McKay has a trip set up with Fresno State for the following weekend, Dec 17. He visited Oregon State back in early November. Academically, Gardner is already qualified. Coach Robert Garrett has routinely gotten Crenshaw's top players NCAA qualified through his Academic Touchdown Club in recent years.

"Oh yeah, I'm qualified already. Everything is taken care of, I've just got to pick my school... I'm just really trying to find the best place for me."

McKay listed intensity as one of his top qualities out on the gridiron.

"I'm all-around. I play both ways and special teams. So I bring intensity to everything that I do -- and that's returning kicks, scoring touchdowns on offense. On defense, that's intercepting balls, running down the running backs and receivers and tackling.

On the year, McKay scored 10 touchdowns and pilfered 7 interceptions. He's been selected to participate in the Cali-Florida Bowl on Jan. 2.

COACH GARRETT was very busy when we called but he took a few minutes to describe his pupil to CF.C

"How would I describe Gardner?" he mused.

"Electrifying! Exciting! Athletic! Fast!", Garrett theatrically intoned before breaking out a hearty laugh.

"He's a player," Garrett said. "He's a good kid, comes from a good family. He's a hard worker and well respected by his peers."

"But out on the football field, his mild mannerisms turn into something very electrifying."

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