Xavier McKinney’s first-ever visit to Auburn’s campus didn’t go as planned.
The four-star safety made the trek to The Plains last fall with his current teammate and Clemson commit LeAnthony Williams, whom the Tigers were recruiting at the time.
Upon their arrival, it was clear to McKinney he wasn’t a priority.
“The first time wasn’t too great for me,” said McKinney, the No. 11 safety in 2017. “I went with LeAnthony that time and that was when I kind of wasn’t blowing up at the time. They hadn’t offered me yet. When I went, everything just wasn’t directed to me. It was directed toward him. I kind of felt like, ‘OK, this is pretty much a pointless visit.’”
With the recent coaching changes, however, it would appear the Tigers are attempting to repair their relationship with the standout from Roswell High School.
Soon after Wesley McGriff was named the new defensive backs coach, an offer was extended to McKinney. Both sides have remained in contact in the past few weeks, and McKinney plans to visit the campus. A date has yet to be determined.
“We talk as much as possible,” McKinney said of McGriff. “We’re trying to get to know each other better. He wants to meet my family. We talk when we can for sure.”
Luring McKinney away from Alabama, though, could prove challenging for Auburn. McKinney has been committed to the Crimson Tide for nearly six months, and his recent visit to Tuscaloosa only shored up his pledge.
When asked if the Tigers, led by McGriff, are making up ground, McKinney replied, “I wouldn’t say that yet. I don’t really want to talk about all of that though.”
McKinney is rated the No. 17 prospect in the state of Georgia. He recently visited Alabama and Georgia, and is reportedly considering visiting Notre Dame.
While it might be a longshot for the Tigers to flip McKinney from their in-state rivals, McKinney is another example of McGriff making a positive impact for Auburn on the recruiting trail.
Interview conducted by SEC Country’s Chris Kirschner/All rankings are according to the 247Sports Composite