Takkarist McKinley‏ Thoughts

We had update on the open post a couple days back that the Sooners had come in and offered a couple of guys from Contra Costa Community College. I want to talk about one of those two guys, Takkarist McKinley. One of the questions that had arisen from our readers was why OU would be going after JUCO guys on the d-line. Well to be honest with you, when you watch Tak’s film, the question is why wouldn’t we be in on a guy like him?

Takk goes 6’3″ 240 or so and is a very long framed guy. As soon as you put on his tape, you can’t help but see what the coaches at Oklahoma like about him. He’s a very slippery player that I like to call “ghost-like.” The reason I say that is as a young offensive lineman in college, I remember going against some of the All-American players we had like Richard Jordan (Dirt). And just being baffled as to why I couldn’t even get my hands on them as a true freshman on the scout team. Some defenders just have a knack for turning just a little, or stepping a certain way, to make themselves very unblockable. Like I mentioned about Joshua Little out of Millwood in an earlier post, neither have learned at this point how to use their hands as weapons.

That’s what’s scary when you watch Josh’s film, and utterly frightening when you watch Tak’s. His weakness at this point is allowing offensive linemen to get their hands on him. While it isn’t a big issue for him now, since he gets unblocked so easily, when he goes against an offensive tackle that has strong hands and knows how to use them, he’ll get shut down. But let me tell you what I like about Tak and his game.

The kid is an extremely passionate player who loves to play the game.  And as you’ve probably gathered by now, in my book, there is no substitute for this. His enthusiasm is obvious and it translates into his effort. His first step is really quick. He’s explosive coming off of the line of scrimmage and is almost even with the offensive linemen he faces before they ever get out of their stances. So when you think about that right there, and then consider how effective he already is, the sky could truly be the limit for him when he learns how to hand fight and play with good hand technique.

Back to that step though, and his speed, the guy is a natural pass rusher. Eric Striker is a guy I’d use as a reference to a ‘natural pass rusher’ (duh, right). Devante Bond, who I can’t wait to watch this coming season, is another guy I’d call a  natural pass rusher. Some guys have a knack for being certain ways, and Tak has the look of a Grade-A pure edge rusher. His speed move up the field is sick. Very much like a Robert Mathis for the Colts in that he just gets up-field in a hurry. When he starts wearing out those tackles, he’ll push hard up-field, get them to open the gate, and then dip inside of them for a beeline to the quarterback. Once he makes that counter move inside, or gets around the corner on the outside, he closes with the best of them.

So when you think about what Coach Montgomery sees in him, and knowing how good of a teacher he (Montgomery) is, this guy could be a Jack type player for us. If we can get him in here, with the rushers we have on campus already, the pass rush for our defense could be second to none. You see it in the NFL all the time when a team plays in the same division against a marquee quarterback, they go after and draft premier pass rushers (think Houston Texans recently & Andrew Luck). In our league, we face more passing offenses than anything else. Then you consider most teams are playing from behind against us, thus forced to pass more frequently, and the pass rush without having to blitz has to be top notch. Mike Stoops understands that and needs guys who can get pressure, so that he can play coverage over the top. That simple recipe is extremely effective, and guys like Tak are the main ingredients.

Love this guy’s film. I hope we can sign him up.

  • EasTex

    I understand and agree with your write up, well said.
    But when I saw all 6’3″ 240lbs. of him outrun two DBs to catch the guy at the goal line, my first thought was sign this man up. His “want to” is off the charts.

    • Trigrif1

      Takkarist McKinley 6’3 240lbs that can move like that is a must get. Whatever level you watch high school, college, or nfl if you can get after the QB your going to separate yourself from the competition. When you have a defense that can get after the QB you don’t have to be as good on the backend. Your defense doesn’t have to cover as long. I love this kids film. I want a 3-4 defense that can move but big enough to stand up against the run. I think that was some of Alabama problems against us their LB and DL was great against the run because of their size but could not stand up in coverage. It’s hard for a 260lbs LB to stay in coverage with a jalen Saunders when he is n the slot.

  • Boom

    I’m with you EasTex. Players with this size, speed, & desire are no brainers. When I see some random offer, I don’t judge it like I used too as the coaches are looking for “players” not stars. I remember everyone jumping on Kish with Alexander & Allen who said he couldn’t recruit. they didn’t have stars but they are keepers and Okie boys. good stuff.

  • Doobie74OU

    It is guys like this that make the current * Rating system look so bad! Because he is coming out of a Juco he will probably be a max 3* kid! But with a little coaching and the right opportunity he could be a All-American!

    • Trigrif1

      Just ask Mack Brown does stars matter. I also think some kids pick the wrong systems to play in and that is why some kids that are can’t miss prospects miss.

  • hOUligan

    Keeping a steady stream of ‘Striker Backs/Jacks’ is integral to CMike’s scheme and this guy fits perfectly. He’s gotta have 4.6 speed AT LEAST running down backs. He is so quick, like yousaid, he is on the OT who is not getting extension/set and Tak steps and glides past. He is smooth in everything he does. Thanks for another great breakdown.

  • Sooner Ray

    If we can get guys like this qualified and up to speed, we would never have a depth problem.

  • John Garner

    Thanks JY. Another great breakdown. The video certainly explains why we offered a JUCO so soon. The kid has all the talent to be something special.

  • JB


  • I shut off McKinely’s tape when I saw him run from behind the play, chase the running back all the way down the field from behind, blowing past his D-backs in the process, and catching the ball carrier at the goal line. That’s all I needed to see.