Notre Dame’s recruiting class just added another key piece of the puzzle, with U.S. Army All-American Javon McKinley pledging his commitment to the Irish during the fourth quarter of the All-Star game in San Antonio. The four-star receiver picked Notre Dame over finalists Oregon and Washington and scholarship offers from Stanford, USC, UCLA and a few dozen others.
“I think they offer best for me the combination of early playing opportunity and one of the best hands-down degrees in the nation,” McKinley said during the live broadcast on NBC before sprinting back to the sidelines.
A consensus four-star recruit, McKinley is a big-bodied receiver with dynamic ball skills. He broke onto the national scene with a monster junior season at Centennial high school in Southern California with a ridiculous 2,062 receiving yards and 25 touchdown catches. The Irish have recruited McKinley hard, with Mike Denbrock and Mike Sanford both putting in major time to land the 6-foot-2, 195-pounder. He’s been on the top of their recruiting board for over a year.
While some question if McKinley has elite speed, it’s worth pointing out who he put those ridiculous numbers up against. He caught 14 passes for 240 yards against Gardena Serra, a program that produces a half-dozen D-I prospects every year (most heading to USC). He followed that game up with monster efforts against St. John Bosco and caught two touchdowns in the CIF Open Championship against Concord De La Salle.
When asked about McKinley’s speed this August by the Los Angeles Times, high school coach Matt Logan said the following:
“I don’t know where that came from, that’s never been the case. He’s run away from Bishop Gorman and De La Salle players.”
Notre Dame had plenty of participants in the Army All-American game. Offensive lineman Tomy Kraemer, Ohio’s Gatorade Player of the Year, stood out along the offensive line. Running back Tony Jones, long snapper John Shannon and linebacker Daelin Hayes all took part in the festivities.
McKinley is the 22nd member of the Irish 2016 recruiting class, joining Chase Claypool and Kevin Stepherson at receiver. He is an excellent student, boasting a 4.1 grade point average and a recruitment by Harvard as well.