ROSWELL, Ga. — Alabama safety commit Xavier McKinney has remained quiet for the last several months as he focuses on two summer classes in order to be an early enrollee, but he’s still been keeping an eye on recruiting.
McKinney, a 4-star prospect from Roswell High School, told SEC Country that even though he’s committed to Alabama, two other schools are tied for second for him — Florida and Clemson.
“Florida is a great place to be,” McKinney said at the Corky Kell 7-on-7 tournament Friday morning. “Of course, they are ‘DBU’ and have all of those great defensive backs. Clemson has a family-based community and that’s what I’m looking for.”
While it’s always concerning when commits have their focus on other schools in addition to the school they are committed to, McKinney is 100 percent solid with Alabama. He is just doing his homework to make sure that the biggest decision of his life up until this point is the right one. And right now, he believes Alabama is the place for him.
“I’m still out there looking and keeping my options open,” McKinney said. “It’s something I have always said ever since I committed to Alabama. I’m still 100 percent with Alabama. I don’t like closing off all of my options. I like to make sure that there are no better options out there for me.
“Right now, Alabama is the best situation for me. Academically, they are great. They can also make me better as a player and get me into the league in three years.”
A good thing for Alabama is that one school that looked to be a threat for him several months ago isn’t anymore. That would be Georgia. The Bulldogs were recruiting McKinney hard several months ago but have since backed off.
That could be because Georgia feels confident with where it stands with 5-star safety JaCoby Stevens (Murfreesboro, Tenn.). Stevens, who visited Alabama earlier this week, has named Georgia his leader, and the Bulldogs are in prime position to land his commitment when he does announce.
McKinney’s father, Lee, admits he’s a Georgia fan, but McKinney has lost some interest in his father’s favorite team.
“They haven’t talked to me in a while,” McKinney said. “I don’t really care that much because if a school isn’t looking into me, then that’s fine. I’m going to move on.”
The 6-foot-1, 170-pound prospect doesn’t know when he’s going to visit Alabama next because he’s busy with his summer classes. He does want to visit Clemson and Florida, too.
His teammate at Roswell, Clemson cornerback commit LeAnthony Williams, has been his ear about joining the Tigers and so has his former teammate, Tre Lamar, who is a freshman at Clemson.
But McKinney had a message for Crimson Tide fans when the interview wrapped up.
“Roll Tide all the way,” he said.
McKinney is rated as the nation’s No. 11 safety and is the No. 14 prospect in the state of Georgia.
All rankings are provided by the 247Sports composite unless otherwise noted.
Chris Kirschner covers Alabama football recruiting for SECCountry.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play in Bryant-Denny.