RECRUITING: McKay II weighing the pros and cons

IT REMAINS a wide open race for <b>Gardner McKay II</b> as he prepares to take his final official trip this coming weekend. The Los Angeles defensive back talks about his decision timetable and his CaliFlorida Bowl experience down in Miami.

Gardner McKay II hasn't settled on a school yet but he knows that day is not far off -- it could come soon after his fifth and final visit to Colorado this weekend.

Other schools in the running -- Washington State, Oregon State, San Diego State and Fresno State. McKay has no leader at this time.

Following the trip to Boulder, he plans on sitting down with his parents and evaluating the schools he's tripped to and coming to a decision.

"It's a big decision for me," said McKay. "I haven't made my mind up yet. I'm going to take one more trip to Colorado and after that, I'm going to figure out the pros and cons of every college that I've been to. Figure out my likes, and then probably get the decision out of the way so I can just (enjoy) the rest of my senior year."

Previously, McKay told some of the things that will figure prominetly are: Academics, how many players a school has put into the NFL and the coaching style of his position coach.

"Hard on me," McKay said at the time. "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."

SDSU made a very favorable impression on McKay this weekend. He didn't want to go so far as to say it moved the Aztecs up, but he said it didn't moved them down either.

"It was nice. To me it was similar to home, its a big city. I had a great time."

McKay got along very well with the SDSU staff, who let him know he's front and center on their radar.

"What did I like about the coaches? Oh, they're real cool and just that they've really stayed interested in me."

AT THE CALIFLORIDA BOWL, McKay had a great week of practice followed by a strong showing in the game. Florida came out on top 24-22 in a contest that came down to the final play but McKay was part of a defense that limited Florida to just 201 total yards.

What he took away most was the camaraderie and the spirited practice sessions.

"We really clicked, everybody. For me, it was like being on a team I had been on the whole season. Even though I play defense, I got along really well with all the offensive players."

McKay spent much of the practices going up against DeSean Jackson, rated the 7th best prep receiver prospect in the country according to

"We battled. Me and DeSean, we always battled in practice. He played receiver, I played corner and we battled to see who was the best and it was hand in hand. There were just some cool players there that I got to play against that I really wanted to play against during practice. I was really glad to be picked for that game."

California played primarily Cover-3 with Florida throwing a lot of quick hits off the line and hitches -- that didn't lend itself to many interception chances for McKay but he certainly made his mark in the game.

"I had, I believe, six or seven tackles, and I had a big kickoff return of about 50. We really wanted to win that game. It's a big rivalry."

McKay was "pumped" to be playing in the Orange Bowl, the stage where the national championship would be decided a few days later. Naturally, McKay thought about getting back to the Orange Bowl in a BCS or national title game at some point during his college career.

"I'll tell you what, I'm going to try my best. I'm determined to go back there."

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