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Recruiting: Osceola star living cautionary tale

Osceola’s Edwin McKinney has twice went over 1,000 yards but colleges are waiting on his latest test score.

WILLIE J. ALLEN JR. | Times (2008)

Osceola’s Edwin McKinney has twice went over 1,000 yards but colleges are waiting on his latest test score.

Edwin McKinney admits he has grown a little tired of reading about all the scholarship offers other local football players have received.

It's not difficult to understand why.

As of Saturday, the standout running back and two-time 1,000-yard rusher at Osceola still does not have an offer.

"I feel like I'm as good and work as hard as those guys," McKinney said.

On the field, the 5-foot-10, 175-pound McKinney did as much as he could do to earn an offer. In addition to rushing for 1,400 yards and 17 touchdowns this past fall, he had the performance of the year locally when he ran for 385 yards against Blake.

But off the field, McKinney made the cardinal mistake of not putting a lot of emphasis on his college boards early in the process, which has come back to bite him a bit.

And he's kicking himself because of it.

"That test score has held me back," McKinney said.

Months after not doing all that great on the SAT last spring, McKinney said he finally got serious. He took some preparatory classes, bought books and studied three hours a day to make sure he did better the second time around. He took the ACT last month and is confident he performed well.

Nonetheless, McKinney, and the colleges recruiting him, are in a holding pattern.

"Everybody that's talked to me is waiting on that test score," McKinney said. "I should find out about two weeks from now how I did. It's going to be hard waiting."

Regardless of how he did, McKinney should have plenty of options. Some are just a little better than others.

If his score is solid, Bowling Green is among the "three or four" schools that say they'll get a little more serious about his recruitment. If not, he could opt for junior college or prep school.

The situation hasn't been easy, but when asked if he was discouraged, McKinney responded, "No sir."

He also had a message for area juniors: "You can't depend on other people," he said. "You've got to shoot for the stars. And you have to take that test as many times as you can."

HEAD OF THE CLASS: It's safe to say the Class of 2011 for football will be loaded locally. Athlete Andre Davis of Jefferson, QB Phillip Ely of Plant, OL Tyler Moore of Countryside, TE Jordan Prestwood of Plant City and RB/DE James Wilder Jr. of Plant have been named to the ESPNU 150 Watch List for next year. Moore and Wilder will be under consideration to earn five-star rankings from most recruiting services.

SHORT STUFF: Gulf FB William Burbridge, one of the area's most underrated players, is getting lots of attention from Division I-AA Jacksonville. His teammate, athlete Madison Burr, was to visit Division I-AA Wofford this weekend and could commit before he returns. … Gibbs DE Tim Jackson dropped Stanford last week shortly after the Cardinal lost Jackson's chief recruiter to another school. On Friday, he dropped USF after the Bulls fired head coach Jim Leavitt. Right now, the smart money says Jackson will end up at North Carolina.

Have an athlete, in any sport, who should be featured in our weekly recruiting notebook? E-mail Keith Niebuhr at kniebuhr@sptimes.com.

Recruiting: Osceola star living cautionary tale 01/09/10 [Last modified: Saturday, January 9, 2010 10:44pm]
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