SAN ANTONIO — Javon McKinley, a four-star receiver from Corona (Calif.) Centennial, has decided what university he is going to attend and play for after paring a lengthy list down to Notre Dame, Oregon and Washington.
McKinley told the coaches at the programs he was considering of his decision last week.
His family knows his choice.
Everyone else will have to wait.
McKinley will announce his commitment during the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Saturday.
A 6-foot-2, 203-pound receiver, McKinley was heavily recruited after a stellar career at Centennial. He is rated as the 107th-best prospect in the nation and the 18th-best receiver.
McKinley is already adept at keeping a secret, making sure not to even hint at his decision Monday afternoon following the first practice for the national high school all-star game.
“It was very difficult,” McKinley said. “I was torn between colleges for a very long time and finally I decided the college I am picking is the best one.”
Could it be Notre Dame?
“Just a great school, of course,” McKinley said. “Early opportunity in starting. They have tradition and they’ve done a lot of successful things in the past, especially this season. I think they have what it takes to get me to the next level.”
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Perhaps he will attend Washington?
“Similar things (to Notre Dame), similar opportunity for early playing time,” McKinley said. “I really like the setting Washington is in. Seattle is a really beautiful city. I really enjoy it there. I like the setting with the water as well. Also, a great coaching staff.”
Or could he be playing for Oregon next season?
“Oregon has the most similar offense to me,” McKinley said. “I think also good opportunity for early starting. I think I can adapt to most easily just because of the spread they run more often. Also great coaching staff been there for many years and I think they are going to stay for years to come.”
McKinley visited Washington on Sept. 19, Notre Dame on Oct. 17 and Oregon on Nov. 7. He weighed his options for two months following that last visit before deciding last week where he continue his education and football career.
“I spent a lot of time to figure it out,” McKinley said. “The reason I picked that school is it just best fits me overall and the kind of person I am and what they could do for me. I just think the school I picked will do the most.”
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The Ducks did draw a double-take from McKinley, but that was because of their 47-41 loss in triple overtime to TCU in the Valero Alamo Bowl last Saturday at the Alamodome, the same site as the Army Bowl.
“I watched the first half and then I was like, ‘I’m out, game’s cool,’ ” McKinley said. “Then I heard about two hours later that TCU came back. I’m like, ‘What happened?!’ I had to go back, I had it recorded. I watched the whole game. It was a great comeback by TCU.”
McKinley did imagine himself in Oregon’s offense while watching the game, but he said that is not unusual.
“I think all receivers do that,” McKinley said. “They place themselves in the game to see what they could have done better. Like what this receiver is doing wrong and what they should have done. I guess, yeah, I do look at the games and place myself in that situations.”