LSU’s Class of 2024 got a new addition to ring in the New Year.
The state’s top player, and five-star prospect, Dominick McKinley of Acadiana High, posted on his Instagram account at midnight Eastern that the 6-5 ½, 280-pounder had flipped his four-month commitment to LSU.
“There’s a lot of opportunities for being a Louisiana kid and staying home,” McKinley told On3. “For home-state kids, it’s important,” he continued. “I’ll be right there by my family, it’s 45 minutes away and easy to go back and forth, and there’s a lot of opportunities for in-state kids going to LSU.”
LSU signed 28 players, a combination of 27 high school prospects and one junior college player, during the early signing period which ended Dec. 22.
The addition of McKinley gives the Tigers their first five-star player. He’s the nation’s No. 37 rated player, the sixth-best defensive tackle and No. 1 in Louisiana.
The importance of having McKinley is reflected in LSU’s class which is now ranked No. 7 nationally by On3 and No. 8 by 247 Sports.
“I love the environment there and the energy about it,” said McKinley, whose younger brother, sophomore four-star defensive end Darryus, has already received an LSU offer.
LSU secured nine of the state’s top 10 players in this recruiting cycle and McKinley’s pledge is the third from an interior defensive lineman. He joins De’Myrion Johnson of Westgate and Shone Washington of East Mississippi Community College.
McKinley committed to Texas A&M before the start of his senior season in September and remained that way through the firing of head coach Jimbo Fisher. His family hosted LSU head coach Brian Kelly and running backs coach Frank Wilson for an in-home visit in mid-December in advance of the early signing period, but he chose to wait and sign during the second signing period in February.
He also scheduled an official visit to LSU on Jan. 12-13.
Another key development in McKinley’s recruiting process was A&M’s loss of defensive line coach Elijah Robinson to Syracuse as defensive coordinator.
McKinley, who has drawn rave reviews in practice for Wednesday’s All-America Bowl, was named first team Class 5 All-State in 2023. He registered 71 tackles, 15 QB hurries, 11 tackles for loss, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery, helping the Wrecking Rams to the Division I state select state championship game.
McKinley had a career-high 86 tackles, 17 QB hurries with three forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, two interceptions and a touchdown.
“I know Coach Kelly, I like how he coaches his guys the right way, how they should be,” McKinley said. “I like how he develops his players. He’s really good at what he does. I like how he is honest, he’s really real with you, he gives you the truth about everything. He’s genuine.”