OK Preps 2015 Feature – McKinley Whitfield Is A Rare Talent (UPDATED 5:48 pm)

Image via Leflore County Journal

I haven’t been this excited about a player in Oklahoma, or Texas, or perhaps anywhere, in a while. In yesterday’s Open Post, I mentioned an ATH out of Spiro, OK by the name of McKinley Whitfield. I came across McKinley for the first time that morning, when I happened to see Bob Przybylo and Josh McCuistion tweet out an offer he had received. I looked him up, and I was blown away. A simple mention in the Open Post wasn’t nearly enough for this OK born and bred stud.

We’ve introduced y’all to a number of players well before they became national products. It’s one of the things we take great pride in here doing what we do (which may sound incredibly arrogant, but please know that is in no way the intent). In fact, our regular readers will remember that I touted Jaylon Lane as one of the best CBs in the state of Texas when his only offer was from Louisiana Tech. He now holds offers from almost every major program in the country. I remember how I felt about Jaylon’s ability back then, and I’m even more convinced of McKinley’s ability. In my opinion, McKinley isn’t a Big 12 recruit or a Pac 12 recruit…he is a national recruit that can play at any school in the country.

Whatever you want to see from a kid, you’ll find it on McKinley’s film. Whether it’s top end speed (he recently ran a 22 sec 200 m), or it’s lateral movement, or stop-and-start, or ability to read a QBs eyes, or closing speed, or ability to diagnose a play, or ability to play close to the line, or the willingness to smash someone in the mouth, all the way down to the dog in him…it’s all there. I’ve watched his film multiple times since yesterday, and all day I kept calling football friends that I trust in order to get their opinion on the kid.

As I’ve said before, I trust my eyes and at certain positions I’d put them up against anyone. But I was so enamored with McKinley’s film, that I felt like I needed confirmation from friends, or I needed someone to slap me out of it.

But no one did.

“Where did you find this kid??”

“Man I can’t stop watching this kid!”

“This kid is gonna play on Sunday!”

And so on is the feedback I got.

McKinley is a legit 6’3″ flat footed and maybe even taller. God only knows how much his frame can hold, because Spiro doesn’t have a legitimate weight program. In fact, they haven’t even had enough participation in spring football to hold regular practices (though apparently McKinley was always there). McKinley currently weighs almost 200 lbs — by comparison OLB target Marshall Bo Wallace, who is at a legit program in Louisiana, weighs around 190 lbs — and he’s got A LOT of room to add weight. McKinley’s older brother played defensive line in college. So when I say he’s got A LOT of room, I’m saying he could end up being a 240 pound LB if he really wanted to. But he’s clearly fluid enough to play in the secondary and become one of those big, long, physical Alabama type safeties. On film you see him turn-and-run with a legit OK HS receiver on multiple plays.

There really isn’t anything McKinley can’t do. He’s just a winner. You want him to play WR? No problem. He’ll go up and take the ball over two defenders and beat you on 9 routes all day. You want him to play LB? He will diagnose the play quickly, scrape, and his short area explosiveness, physicality, and closing speed allow him to stone defenders in the backfield. You want him to play safety? He can jam at the line, flip his hips, run with a receiver, peel off a route, and find the ball or smash a receiving target. He’s got the length and cover ability to stay with a TE. He’s got the length and frame to grow into an ILB or OLB. He can throw the ball. He can return kicks. He’s an excellent basketball player. He’s got good grades. He’s polite and respectful. He can walk and chew gum at the same time!

While the means aren’t there in Spiro, he’s ready and willing to go to work. I mean there is nothing about this young man that I don’t like! The more I talked to him and people around him, the more I loved McKinley. And while this may seem out of place in a football article, I even found out that his father is a disabled veteran which only made me love McKinley and his family all the more.

Oklahoma was late on offering Austin Cantrell (who is a freakin’ stud in his own right) and he is now committed to Arkansas. I would hope if Oklahoma were to miss out on a player like McKinley, it would not be because they offered* too late. Because, in my opinion, McKinley isn’t just “Oklahoma good.”

McKinley Whitfield is truly a rare talent.

* Ed. note – Whitfield’s current offer list includes: Arkansas State, Army, Minnesota, Missouri State, Navy, Southern Miss, Tulsa, and Utah State

– UPDATE (1:26 pm): Since the time this posted, Whitfield has now picked up offers from Memphis and Houston. Surely just two of many more to come.

BIG UPDATE (5:48 pm): OKLAHOMA has just reached out to McKinley! Coach Mike Stoops will be heading over to Spiro next week to see him for the first time! Also, sorry I haven’t responded to some of your comments below…I just flew into Florida. We’ll have more later.


Week 1 – Kaden Clay Jackson

Week 2 – Dahu Green

Week 3- Akylen Mayfield

Week 4 – Joshua Little

  • Jordan Esco

    I’m gonna go out on a limb and say Super K is kind of excited about this kid.

    • JY

      what gave it away? 😉

    • Doobie74OU

      When he informed us that he could “walk and chew gum at the same time!” I knew K was excited and I was sold!

  • Ed Cotter

    The young man is a playmaker, pure and simple. Thanks for posting the video. Very entertaining and enlightening.

    • Rees Bear

      Video not working for me, comment sent on OS, browser etc.

  • Zack

    Great write up. Do you feel like this years class of oklahoma high school prospects is the best in awhile or is the overall talent getting better each year? I’m asking because it seems like there’s a lot of under the radar guys that have D1 potential but I’m curious if they are good enough for ou if they weren’t trying to capitalize on the momentum from the sugar bowl. IMO ou is probably on a lot of guys lists simply because they may be on the rise again. Where as if ou didn’t finish last year the way they did, I don’t think as many top rated guys would be interested.

  • Jordan Esco

    Maybe it’s the #11, but why do I get the feeling this is probably what Lacoltan Bester’s h.s. highlights looked like?

  • Steve Johns

    Kid could be the next OU All-American from Spiro!

  • Jordan Esco

    Dude, that throw at the 5:01 mark…..that’s big time.

  • BigJoeBrown

    Off the top of my head, was Ronnell Lewis the last player recruited from a small program?

    • Jordan Esco

      I’m sure there have been others since, but he was playing 8-man football. Not sure they have been many, if any, others from that level.

      • Steve Johns

        Could be wrong but it seems Vian played 8-man when OU signed Larry Briggs back in the early 70’s. Other than him, I can’t think of another.

        • Oskie918

          Reggie Skinner played 8 man at White Oak back in the early 90’s…

  • EasTex

    Sooners have got to bring this young man in. He can flat out ball.

  • Boom

    Something about Oklahoma boys & small town guys when they play for OU, they give that extra effort. Not to diminish from our other recruits but there is a toughness that can’t be replaced IMO. My hope is M. Stoops will get in touch with this young man and form a relationship. Wish the young man and his family the best.

    • Dana Rogers

      100% agree – I would only add – pride is one heck of a motivator. Proud to have made it to D-1 from Nowhere, OK and showing it to his family, state, and entire nation. Not much of one to tell professionals their business but; Gotta get this one!

      • red clay

        agreeance agin

    • J.K. Abbott

      Chris Massey was from Spiro. They were rocking and rolling in the mid 90’s. State runner ups multiple times. Massey was a state medalist in the sprint stuff. He had a good college career at Okie State.

      • Chandler Welch

        yeah I think Massey played for the NE Patriots for a couple of seasons until he hurt his knee or something if i am not mistaken?

      • Mr. CHE

        Massey graduated from Spiro and committed to Bob Simmons and OSU. Bob was hired that same year and tried to change Chris’ mind but couldn’t do it in the eleventh hour. He was a stud.

  • rphdenton

    ….so, does this kid have any interest in ou……….has he or his coaches sent in any tape or had any contact with ou………is he going to attend an ou camp

    • Mr. CHE

      You would be correct. I was in the stands the night Spiro was playing Eufaula and some guys named Selmon’s…..Rod had all but committed to Arkansas until that night. Switzer and Lacewell set in the stands for a while….it was crazy.

  • leatherneck1061

    Wow….kid is definitely legit. Question is, what position he’ll want to play at the next level and what coaches will want to recruit him for…..looks like he can play just about any position on the field.

    • Super K

      He’s being recruited by schools as an LB or Safety. He has NFL upside on the defensive side of the ball. But he could even have league potential as a wr. Houston is going to see him today and I’ve asked around and it sounds like they want him to play both ways

      • leatherneck1061

        Defense would be my first choice for him too….kid was really laying the wood out there, and clearly has great football intelligence….instinctively knows where the ball is going. As anyone who knows me knows, I get especially excited when we reel in dominant athletes on the defensive side of the ball. Go get him Coach Mike!!

  • j l

    Have you guys ever notified stoops or other coaches about kids youve found out about, and they didnt even have him on their radar? You guys sure do find some hidden gems.

    • JY

      We make as much noise as humanly possible.

      • j l

        ahh cool. wasnt sure if there was any NCAA crap you guys had you to worry about, like being classified as a “scouting service”, or other such nonsense.

    • Super K

      We try to use our site to publicize the kids and we know that there are coaches from diff programs that visit.

  • Jordan Esco

    Memphis has offered Whitfield

    • Super K

      Hearing another offer could be coming later today

      • Gary Robbins

        You know Stoops likes to slow play these athletes. With 8 offers and Houston coming in to visit, I would think OU could afford to send a letter. Maybe OU is waiting for Ok. State or Arkansas to offer. I thoroughly enjoy your articles and this site. Oh yeah I love your subscription rates-leaves me more money for happy hour!

  • SoonerPhins

    Whitfield under center looks a lot like Paul Thompson to me. Kid could be special at a bunch on different positions.

    • Super K


  • Shifty

    What is his interest level in OU…has he or his coach had any contact with the OU staff…any plans to attend the summer camp..Isn’t that pretty much the best ways to get the attention and offer for hidden gems

    • Super K

      He has heard nothing from OU. No mail. Nothing. His family are OU fans. He’s being recruited by OSU and Arkansas.

      • rphdenton

        yeah, but the question was essentially why he a/o his coaches aren’t more proactive re ou ……….does he have an interest in ou

      • Shifty

        If his fam is OU fans then somebody associated w him needs to put a feeler out…with no mail at all it’s possible they haven’t come across his film yet…be a lot faster and less emotions involved the quicker they find out one way or another if there truly is an interest or not…with our backer depth..I’d be all over this guy…Looks pretty versatile

      • Boom

        K, does he remind you of Brodney Pool?

        • EasTex

          He do, don’t he?

          • Sooner Ray

            Thanks Tex, I had forgotten how much of the field Brodney could cover.

          • EasTex

            Welcome, but thank Boomer too, that is why I looked him up.
            I remembered Brodney, but like you I had forgotten how he covered the field.
            Whitfield does seem to possess some of the same qualities as Pool.

          • Jared Tyra

            Man those highlights make my head spin with how nasty our defense was. Hope that’s what we see again on Owen field this season.

      • Jeremy Phillips

        ive read on twitter, at least a few times, that he’s scheduled to be at an OU camp… if true, he wont be a secret much longer…

  • Zack

    I guess Houston read this today and probably arranged a private jet to swing by and offer. Ou needs to get in early especially if they would see him as a linebacker. Right now of all the linebackers who’ve stated interest, 0 have committed. Just imagine in a couple years him and wheeler on opposite sides of the qb.

  • soonerborn

    Both Kahlil’s have stated via twitter that they will have the top choices out. McKenzie states his top 12 in order will be out later today. Haughton states his to 10 will be out tomorrow.

    • Zack

      My hopes are not high. If uncle Rico had 3 offers from ou, popcorn st, and directional U then I would expect ou to still be third.

  • Gary Robbins

    Looks like OU is #5 on dt Kahlil Mckenzie top 12 list-in order: Tenn., Ariz., USC, Wisc., OU, UCLA, Miami (Fl.), Alabama, Ohio State, Florida, Oregon, Tex. Tech. Also read that M. Whitfield was planning on going to an OU camp? Both of these articles were from another site so take with a grain of salt.

    • Sooner Ray

      Seen that earlier also. Hope we can eliminate Tennessee with a good country a$$ whupin’.

      • Gary Robbins

        I’m betting on it. My top 5 teams in order that OU better whup in 2014 regular season.
        1. Texas
        2. Tennessee(SEC)
        3. Baylor
        4. Texas Tech
        5. Okie State
        Rest of whoever they play.

        • Zack


      • EasTex

        We need to whup those boys with a knotted plow line.

  • Sooner Ray

    Can’t believe that this kid is drawing offers from out of state and no one from OU has even asked how his day was. Makes no sense.I can remember back in the 70’s meeting up with Spiro in the playoffs, they have always bred speed down there.

  • Super Keith

    Gotta wonder why Whitfield hasn’t blown up already?!

    He’s not going to play QB at the next level, but there aren’t many positions he couldn’t play. He has the size, speed and instinct to be a beast. Right now, he lacks the technical skills that come with better coaching, but that can easily be addressed at the next level.

    I really hope OU offers this kid. These are the kinds of guys Mike Stoops seems to do his best work on, and clearly this kid can play.

  • ToatsMcGoats

    Sweet baby Jesus! When I see kids from small schools who look this b/a, I automatically think about how Ronnell Lewis was from such a small school. This kid is definitely a no brainer.

  • Big Higg

    Wow…this kid might shoulda been at the top of the recruiting list.

  • EasTex

    That is a BIG update, thanks Super K.
    I was thinking earlier after looking at his list of offers, if West Point has offered that means several things. That academically he is sound and he has good character.
    I am hoping Coach Stoops offers on the spot.

    • Zack

      If his recruiting is about to blow up and it sure seems that way ou needs to just offer him and not wait for another major school to get involved. Like you said academically he must be solid and that should carry over to his game considering he plays qb and safety that tells me he has a great feel for the game.

  • Reminds me of Cam Newton when he plays QB. One thing I did notice about his defensive physicality; all of his hits were high and to the head. He’s like that Dixon kid from Baylor. He doesn’t lower his shoulder and aim for the chest and drive through the ball carrier. That could be a problem. Anybody else notice that?

    • EasTex

      I noticed it. Some good coaching will take care of that. I like his desire and ferocity and his speed and his size and….

  • Stoops’Visor

    Have you guys had a chance to take a look at OT Joshua Jones out of Richmond, TX?

  • Thomas Lenard

    Reminds me of an Ada, OK boy a few years back……Brandon Daniels…… Daniels went to OU and played a lot of positions, I just wonder what Daniels could have doen with this coaching staff.

  • Daddy R


  • Baron Boomer

    This kid is a one man team!

    ==> New to this but as an OU Alumni in the UK I must say I Really like this site and the excellent contributions! Outstanding resource! Hope OU are watching it! 🙂

  • CastorTroyBoy

    Not trying to start anything and yes I’m aware that this is my first post but I’m going to have to bring this up. Every time there is black qb who also plays multiple positions for his team, it seems like other so-called oufans label him an “athlete” giving the kid no regard for his qb play while also adding how well he hits or runs and stating how well he’d look in Mike Stoops defense? This is the same reason I don’t get along with anyone from OU’s scout board. They are a bunch of classless minions who imho rooted against Kendal for all his fathers failing while glossing over knights record of poor play while exalting him “OU’s next great Qb because he had a once in a lifetime game versus bama? I’m sorry but there are rumors going around in recruiting circles about our perceived indifference to OU playing a black qb. They are not coming here to be benched after one bad half of football then asked to switch positions only to be asked to go back to QB because they had no one else…Spiro coaches send their guys to other places because coaches at temple or Arkansas are not reluctant to play a black QB in good times nor when they are winning. I respect Heupel but he’s not one of the best with finding black Qb’s. There out there but If a coach has a different agenda about what he feels is a successful qb his agenda will mess with winning titles! Heupel way or the highway has not always worked out. I just hope black qb’s are reminded that black qb’s had plenty of success before Heupel and Stoops took over here. I mean this the guy these are the guys that chose landry jones over Cam Newton? It could be debated as to whether Cam would have come versus his handlers pull but we will never know…? Now Back to McKinley Whitfield, If he wants to have a shot at Qb before being shipped lb. or safety, I think Stoops & Co. should let him . If not he’s likely going to commit somehere like Arky that is Spiro connected and will allow him to do so! Thoughts?

    • Super K

      Thanks for the comment bud! Rest assured saying McKinley is an athlete or a defensive player isn’t a race thing for me. Firstly, I’m part black so I would hope I would not see race either way. Secondly McKinley and his brother told me they want him to play defense because of the possible NFL potential on that side of the ball. And I completely agree. QB is a different animal. Hope that helps in addressing things from our side. Can’t really speak on behalf of OU.

    • Boom

      You make good points but I want to add a few items too. Stoops and Co started recruiting dual threat QB’s a couple of years ago due to the change in philosophy on offense. Based on our past, we were a pocket offense. Kendall along with Trevor were part of the new movement. Unfortunately for Kendall, it was horrible timing when he got hurt. Hard to catch up during the year and you can’t fault what Blake accomplished in the OSU game. Trevor had a great game but like you said, there is still a lot of work to be done.
      Cam Newton. I remember reading how Bob & Josh went to Blinn to watch a game and really wanted Cam Newton. OU was very serious with their intentions. However, that went cold due to the recruiting OU doesn’t participate in. Who at OU wouldn’t want CAM.
      I don’t disagree with you on your main point. However, I think the offense is evolving which is why they are targeting Gibson. I’m a born Okie and an alum and I would love to see Gibson in Crimson. OU never had a problem during the Switzer years. Also, if Whitfield wanted to play QB, I would love to see that development too.
      My hope is you don’t think OU fans don’t want a black QB. The Switzer era opened a lot of eyes and minds of the OU fans so having a black QB is not the issue IMO. I truly respect your opinion and hope the recruiting circles don’t look at OU in that regard.

  • Joe

    I live in Spiro and have seen this young man play football and basketball. I have also seen him outside of sports and he conducts himself extremely well. Spiro isn’t that big of a town, but there hasn’t been a community function that I haven’t seen him at. He also coached a youth basketball team this year against my son. The kid is truly outstanding and he clearly has his head on straight. I don’t want to downplay the fact that he has committed to Tulsa, but he could have gone to a premier school easily and figure he might be a future transfer to one of them. I have my fingers crossed that he will someday end up in Fayetteville playing for my hogs. I can’t say enough positive things about this young man. He most certainly has a bright future ahead of him regardless of where he ends up.