Jim McElwain and the Florida Gators had some elite prospects on campus last weekend, including a few committed to other SEC schools.
Alabama Crimson Tide safety commit Xavier McKinney (6-1, 185, Roswell, GA High) was one those prospects on campus, and he had a great trip to Gainesville to say the least.
“It was a great visit, and one of the best visits I’ve been on so far,” McKinney said. “My family liked it and said it was one of the best visits they’ve been on too. It was a good time. The one thing that stood out was that they treated me and my family right. The atmosphere was great and the 100% real the whole time.”
McKinney had the chance to meet one-on-one with new defensive backs coach Torrian Gray and it was more of a catching up talk then anything.
“It was good to talk to Coach Gray, but I had already knew him because he recruited me at Virginia Tech,” he said. “I kind of already knew him so it was just basically catching up and talking to him about Florida. It was a friendly kind of thing with us.”
Since Gray had recruiting McKinney to Virginia Tech, they already have a relationship, so Gray was able to get straight to a message on Florida to the safety.
“Basically he was telling me that I could become a member of DBU, something that they already are,” McKinney said. “He was saying that I could play instantly since they are losing guys in the defensive backfield area. He talked a lot about the opportunity to play there.”
McElwain, like most visits, had a one-on-one talk with McKinney and his family and he talked about what the University has to offer.
“Coach McElwain was saying that he wants me to go there,” he said. “He was telling me more about the school and himself. That was pretty much what we talked about during the meeting. He says that Florida is a good fit for me.”
Florida Gators defensive coordinator Geoff Collins is one of McKinney’s area recruiters and he sold early playing time to the Alabama commit.
“I got to talk to Coach Collins and he said that he liked me a lot,” McKinney said. “He wants me to join Florida but he was just talking about them losing guys. He said that I could come in and start or have a chance to start if I earn the opportunity. He said that playing time was there for me. That’s pretty much it.”
Heading into the visit McKinney said he liked Florida, but the Gators improved their chances with Saturday’s great visit.
“The visit actually did help them out,” he said. “It’s Florida so I already said that there isn’t much not to like about Florida, but I wanted to check it out for myself. I was really impressed with everything.”
McKinney still remains with the Crimson Tide but didn’t shut the door on Florida or other schools.
“I’m solid to Alabama, but I still want to make sure I visit some schools,” McKinney said. “I want to see what everyone has to offer but I’m solid right now. I don’t know when I’ll visit Florida again but I plan on getting back down there.”
INSIDERS TAKE: Florida definitely helped its chances with the visit over the weekend and it sounds like the family liked it as well. McKinney says he will return for another visit with his family.