Javon McKinley to Notre Dame: Fighting Irish Land 4-Star WR Prospect

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistJanuary 9, 2016

Source: 247 Sports

One of the best playmakers in 2016's recruiting class is off the board, as wide receiver Javon McKinley has committed to Notre Dame.

Mike Farrell of Rivals.com reported McKinley's decision.

A four-star prospect out of Corona, California, McKinley is ranked as the No. 18 wide receiver in his class by 247 Sports. He's got a college-ready frame at 6'2" and 203 pounds, so it wouldn't be a surprise to see him on the field as a freshman. 

During The Opening event in July, McKinley showcased his ability to snatch a ball out of the air and run past defensive backs:

Every coach in the country loves to see what a player will do surrounded by traffic. McKinley has the chops to go over the middle and make plays because of his size and strength, making up for some deficiencies he has in other areas. 

That brief video does highlight some of those concerns scouts have with McKinley at this point in his development. He's not afraid to play physical with opposing cornerbacks, but lacks the ability to get away from them.

Here's ESPN.com's scouting report on McKinley's weaknesses: 

Needs to come off the ball with more purpose, explosion. Runs to just try and get open, not a lot of precision or reason for his methods. Muscles his way through tight coverage and needs technical polish and coaching as a route runner. Is more of a run and catch guy right now that is difficult to tackle. Needs to learn nuance and coverage.

This is hardly a crippling flaw in McKinley's game as he prepares to enter college. It's rare to find a wide receiver who knows how to run routes. These players spend four years in high school knowing they can just jump over cornerbacks to make big plays. 

Moving into college is the true test of a player's ability. McKinley has the raw physical package to be a superstar at the next level and will do well to start working with a college coaching staff as soon as possible to work out some kinks.