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Irish land Dallas safety Prentice McKinney

Mar 28, 2014, 9:52 AM EDT

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Gearing up for a big junior day weekend, Notre Dame got an early return from a recruit that’s yet to visit campus. Dallas safety Prentice McKinney committed to the Irish sight unseen, giving area recruiter Kerry Cooks another talented Texas product.

The jumbo-sized safety, who is somewhere in the 6-foot-2 range (some places have him listed at 6-3), became the team’s first defensive recruit in the class of 2015 and immediately brings an enforcer to the back of Brian VanGorder’s defense.

McKinney chose Notre Dame over Oklahoma, Michigan and Texas A&M, telling Irish Illustrated’s Jake Brown that he plans to see campus for the first time at the Blue-Gold game.

“I just talked it over with my parents and everything and they wanted me to go ahead and commit,” McKinney told Irish Illustrated. “I’m gonna try to get down there on April 12. I am gonna talk to them tomorrow. I just talked to coach Cooks tonight. He was very excited. Everybody is real excited. We’re gonna be one family man.”

McKinney is another piece of the Texas pipeline that Cooks has restored recently, with Grant Blankenship, Kolin Hill and Nick Watkins signing in the 2014 class. McKinney was honorable mention 4A All-State during his junior season, where he made eight interceptions and had 68 tackles for his South Oak Cliff high school.

A quick look at his highlight film gives you an immediate idea of the type of player the Irish have landed. Delivering bone crushing hits from the back of the defense, McKinney looks like the type of safety that can play both centerfield and deliver a knockout punch, something the Irish roster doesn’t currently have.

With the Irish staff targeting a limited recruiting class in 2015, McKinney becomes an anchor for the secondary, likely one of two safety targets the Irish will take in this class.

McKinney is the fourth member of the Irish recruiting class, joining Jerry Tillery, Tristen Hoge and Blake Barnett.

  1. NotreDan - Mar 28, 2014 at 10:53 AM

    “Delivering bone crushing hits from the back of the defense…”

    ’nuff said.

    • dickasman - Mar 29, 2014 at 2:57 PM

      I’d like to see nuff done.

  2. buckynd13 - Mar 28, 2014 at 11:08 AM

    From the film seems like a tough kid delivering some pretty good licks out there, and looks like he is pretty fast too. An excellent commit. Needs to officially, sign, then see how he is w college competition and schoolwork but I’m upbeat here.

  3. ibleedirish - Mar 28, 2014 at 1:13 PM

    Not terribly optimistic since he hasn’t visited yet, but hopeful. That video…wow. That was a display of something the Irish D has been missing for a while. Violence. Love it.

  4. irishaggie - Mar 28, 2014 at 2:09 PM

    I love these big, long, athletic kids were picking up.

  5. bernhtp - Mar 28, 2014 at 3:04 PM

    It’s odd that he’s held in such relatively low esteem by the recruiting services given his number of prestigious offers. It is early though.

    • dickasman - Mar 29, 2014 at 2:29 PM

      He hasn’t even visited. Wait til he visits n sees zero fingerblasting going on, he will decomitt. Matter of time.

  6. ndirish10 - Mar 28, 2014 at 3:47 PM

    Malik is a very confident person…I like it!!!!

  7. 25kgold - Mar 28, 2014 at 4:20 PM

    This kid is another Steve Atwater–one of the hardest hitting safeties in the NFL!

  8. newmexicoirish - Mar 28, 2014 at 7:16 PM

    Man when this kid reads run he goes to the ball like cruise missile!

  9. shaunodame - Mar 29, 2014 at 1:12 AM

    First defensive commit of the BVG era!

    “Let the good times roll”‘

  10. yaketyyacc - Mar 29, 2014 at 6:29 AM

    this young man, MxKinney, is right up VanGorder’s alley! his decision making is fast, picking ND sight unseen, matches his field decision making. quick mind equals a quick body. WELCOME McKinndey, thrilled to have you aboard. Now, to the play calling, improve that and we have it made.

    • dickasman - Mar 29, 2014 at 2:56 PM

      We ve seen this movie before. Unfortunately, it was not a porno but we’ve seen it.

  11. dudeacow - Mar 29, 2014 at 6:51 PM

    Prentice is one of those recruits where you see that he’s a three star and just start laughing. I don’t care how they rate him. He’s 6’3″. He runs a 4.48. He’s pretty dang athletic. Big and strong enough to play OLB and fast enough to play safety, this guy is a great pickup. Welcome aboard Prentice!

    P.S. How do you like them apples, scUM?!


    • mtndguy - Mar 29, 2014 at 9:27 PM

      dudacow, not sure why you use the “scUM” comment so often. You should save it for special occasions as it loses it’s luster quite quickly. Just doesn’t seem as creative as it once did.

      • dudeacow - Apr 1, 2014 at 9:24 AM

        Well, to be honest, I’m not as creative as I once was. And I can’t bear to call that school up north (sorry, OSU) by their real name. But I see your point and I will now rarely use it. Any suggestions on new derogative nicknames for them?

  12. kapnd73 - Apr 1, 2014 at 5:53 AM

    Love seeing all his heads-up interceptions and forced turnovers!

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