As fireworks lit up the sky across the nation at midnight to ring in New Year’s Day 2024, LSU Head Coach Brian Kelly and his staff found another reason to celebrate. In a surprising turn of events, the state’s top recruit, five-star defensive lineman Dominick McKinley, committed to the Tigers, shifting his allegiance from Texas A&M.
Hailing from Lafayette (La.) Acadiana, McKinley had initially verbally committed to Texas A&M on September 1. However, due to coaching changes in College Station, he opted not to sign during the early signing period. Despite considering other offers from Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas, LSU’s persistent efforts ultimately won him over.
In an exclusive interview with 247Sports, McKinley explained his decision, citing the sense of family and the unique opportunities presented by staying in-state. The 6-foot-5 1/2, 280-pound defensive lineman is ranked as the nation’s No. 6 at his position and the No. 31 overall prospect by 247Sports.
McKinley’s commitment marks the 29th for Kelly and his staff, securing LSU’s standing as the No. 8 recruiting class nationally according to the 247Sports Composite. Impressively, ten of the state’s top 11 prospects are set to join the Tigers.
His mother, Angie, emphasized the proximity to home and the outpouring of support from LSU’s coaching staff as pivotal factors in McKinley’s decision. She mentioned, “I already see the support. I’m a mom. I went looking, you have people that said negative things (about LSU). The negative things said LSU fans were on it. The support is there. I think that is something he needs. Someone that is going to stand behind him, support him and build him to that next-level player.”
LSU’s recruiting win has been lauded by experts, with national scouting analyst Gabe Brooks praising McKinley’s physical prowess and versatility on the field. As McKinley prepares for his official visit to LSU in mid-January, the Tigers are hopeful that this commitment will pave the way for recruiting success with McKinley’s younger brother, Darryus, a Top247 defensive lineman in the 2026 class.
As the ReliaQuest Bowl against Wisconsin approaches, LSU’s coaching staff can savor this recruiting victory, signaling a promising start to the year and solidifying their position as a powerhouse in college football recruitment.