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March 28, 2014

McKinney commits before first visit

Prentice McKinney didn't see much need to wait.

Notre Dame offered the safety from Dallas a scholarship last month. Shortly thereafter it comprised a top two along with Michigan. But over the last few weeks McKinney had been talking with his parents more and more about the Irish program.

Rather than wait to make his first campus visit, McKinney placed a call to secondary coach and primary recruiter Kerry Cooks on Thursday night to offer a commitment.

"I just talked it over with my parents and everything and they wanted me to go ahead and commit," McKinney said. "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 declined offers from Arizona State, Arkansas, Arkansas, State, Boise State, Cal, Colorado State, Maryland, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon State, SMU, Texas A&M, TCU and Tulsa in making a commitment.

LSU, Oklahoma State, Oregon and Texas had also expressed interest.

McKinney will now turn his attention toward the Blue-Gold Game on April 12, which will serve as an introduction to his college home.

"I just wanted to do it," McKinney said. "When I found out my dad, he was gonna take me up there on April 12 I was like, 'I'm just gonna go ahead and commit.' It's the place to be. That's what my dad told me to do. He knows more than I do. He's been through this stage before. I'm just gonna listen to my father."

Adding McKinney gives Notre Dame four commitments in the Class of 2015 and its first on defense. Rivals100 quarterback Blake Barnett and four-star offensive linemen Tristen Hoge and Jerry Tillery currently round out the class.

Cooks has recently gone a strong run in recruiting Texas prospects. He landed defensive end Grant Blankenship, linebacker Kolin Hill and cornerback Nick Watkins last cycle. Wide receiver Torii Hunter Jr., tight end Durham Smythe and wide receiver Corey Robinson preceded them in the Class of 2013.

McKinney looks forward to learning more about his future teammates, among other things, during the visit.

"Just talk to the coaching staff and make it feel like home," McKinney said of his trip expectations. "I'll just see what everything is about and have a good brotherhood thing with the players and everything."

The 6-foot-2, 180-pound prospect feels like the visit will only solidify his feelings.

"The degree is real good," McKinney said. "That's where I fit in at and everything. They have an awesome football program. I just love Notre Dame. There's so much history about them, a rich history. Real good alumni and fan base. Everything about them is on point, real organized and everything."

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