After fighting to reach qualifying status, McKinley "came up a little short" on his test score. Thus, he plans to attend Hargrave Military Academy for a year in order to raise that metric and become eligible.
"I am confident I can improve my scores there," said McKinley, who attends Glades Central High School in Belle Glade, Fla. "I am supposed to visit there sometime this month, probably around February 24. I don't have any problems in going there for a year."
Military academies certainly don't offer a laid back existence, and for some the regimented structure of cadet life can be too much to handle. While he acknowledges it will be a different sort of existence, McKinley understands that attending the school offers him the best chance to focus on academics and move on to a Division I school.
Until he enrolls and heads for Hargrave, McKinley is completing his final semester of high school and working out. He is not participating in any other sports this spring, which should allow him to be rested and ready for an intense post-graduate year at the respected academy. When he does depart, he will be just one spoke in the wheel of a group of high school teammates that will be continuing their college careers. Glade Central boasted several Division I players this year, but they appear to all be headed in different directions. Offenisve lineman Ernest McCoy is headed to LSU, while fellow linemate Jatavious Jackson is bound for Florida State.
"At one time, we thought about all trying to stick together, but that didn't work out," McKinley explained. "We ended up all getting separated. But maybe we will see each other again. It would be good to play in a bowl game against each other, and get to be on the same field again. Having a former teammate out there would be good."