Earlier this month, Carrollton (Texas) Hebron four-star cornerback Verone McKinley trimmed his list of more than two dozen offers down to nine schools.
Clemson made the cut for the Rivals250 and ESPN Junior 300 member, along with Alabama, LSU, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Penn State, Texas A&M and UCLA.
McKinley made his first visit to Clemson last June after being offered by the Tigers and returned for the South Carolina game in November.
“Really liked the family environment there,” McKinley told The Clemson Insider recently. “Coach (Dabo) Swinney takes pride in graduating his players and Clemson is really at the top of their game in developing players.”
Another trip to Clemson is on the docket for McKinley this offseason.
“I’m looking to get back to LSU, Clemson, Penn State,” he said. “Those are some.”
What does McKinley want to see at Clemson this time around?
“I’m looking forward to seeing the new main football facility,” he said.
Clemson co-defensive backs coach Mike Reed flew out to Carrollton to check in on McKinley last month.
“Coach Reed is really down to earth and has your best interest at heart,” McKinley said. “I feel he coaches with an energy and a passion that I would appreciate in a DB coach.”
A commitment decision from McKinley is on the horizon.
“Sometime before the spring probably,” he said.
He will weigh a few factors heavily before that time comes.
“A nice campus including an area that I feel I fit in with, NFL development, the setup of the academic resources,” McKinley said, “and just a place I can really call home so when I come back I feel accepted and a part of that school no matter what.”
McKinley is one of six defensive backs from Texas in the 2018 class that hold offers from Clemson. ESPN rates the 5-foot-10, 170-pounder as the No. 153 player in his class.