Arkansas Football: Inside Look at Incoming Freshman MeKale McKay


Fayetteville, Ark. – Several 2012 Arkansas Razorback signees had unique recruiting paths before signing their national letter of intent with the University of Arkansas. One of the more intriguing storylines among the 25 recruits centers upon wide receiver MeKale McKay.

As a two-sport star for Moore Traditional High School in Louisville, Ky., McKay was an early verbal commitment of University of Texas El Paso. UTEP was able to gain the Kentucky high school prep star’s verbal pledge by promising him the opportunity to play both football and basketball for the Miners.

McKay eventually reopened his recruiting to the delight of the Arkansas Razorback coaching staff.

National Signing Day came and went without McKay signing a letter of intent despite offers from Indiana, Kentucky, Louisville, Tennessee, University of Central Florida, Cincinnati, and Marshall among others top Division-I schools.

The size, talent, and abilities were there but many schools backed off McKay because of his insistence to play both sports at the collegiate level.

McKay took an official visit the weekend before signing day to University of Houston. The following weekend he visited Mississippi before visiting Arkansas at the end of February. By April 8, 2012, McKay had narrowed his decision to Ole Miss and Arkansas announcing his decision to become a Razorback.

The opportunity for McKay to sign with Arkansas seems a fortuitous fit early in his collegiate career. Arkansas left two scholarships open for top recruits that pushed their signing past the traditional first Wednesday in February. One of the scholarships was eventually given to spring enrollee Demetrius Dean (grayshirt), the other to McKay.

The unique situation posed for McKay and Arkansas was the Razorbacks’ transition into scholarship limits, also known in recruiting circles as the “Houston Nutt Rule.”

Due to SEC rule changes, conference schools were no longer allowed to over sign beyond the 25 scholarship limit. The Razorback coaching staff tip-toed to the edge of their scholarship totals without over signing or over promising potential players allowing McKay to sign with Arkansas a full month after National Signing Day.

McKay’s physical attributes reads of a SEC ready wide receiver that could make an immediate impact for the Razorbacks. Listed between 6’4” to 6’6”, 195 pounds with mid 4.4 forty-yard dash speed, the incoming freshman’s size could give Arkansas an immediate red zone threat they have not had since Greg Childs junior season (2010).

The thought of a fast, lanky, wide receiver with long arms and soft hands catching jump balls from Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson in the corner of the end zone has to make offensive coordinator Paul Petrino excited about the possibilities.

McKay enrolled at Arkansas June 3. With the much talked about depleted depth at wide receiver from the Razorbacks 2011 team, McKay has great opportunity to make an impact as a true freshman if he is ready come Sept. 1.

Inside the Numbers

During his high school career for the Mustangs McKay was twice named first-team all-district. At the end of his senior season he caught 38 passes for 894 yards (26 yard per catch average) with 13 scores. ranked McKay as the No. 2 prospect in Kentucky and No. 48 wide receiver in the nation.

McKay plans to walk-on Arkansas’ basketball team at the conclusion of the 2012 football season.

As a junior McKay led the Mustangs to their first playoff win since 2001.

Arkansas Razorback Recruits 2012

OG Cordale Boyd, 3-star, 6’3”, 290 pounds, Memphis, TN

OG Jeremy Ward, 3-star, 6’4”, 290 pounds, Pottsville, AR

WR D’Arthur Cowan, 3-star, 6’1’, 175 pounds, Olive Branch, MS

WR Keon Hatcher, 4-star, 6’1”, 195 pounds, Owasso, OK

WR Eric Hawkins, 3-star, 6’5”, 220, Longview, TX

WR #Demetrius Wilson, 3-star, 6’2”, 170 pounds, Glendale, AZ

WR McKale McKay, 3-star, 6’6”, 192 pounds, Louisville, KY

RB Nathan Holmes, 3-star, 6’1”, 180 pounds, Port Arthur, TX

RB Donovan Roberts, 3-star, 6’0”, 200 pounds, Norman, OK

RB Jonathan Williams, 4-star, 5’11”, 205 pounds, Allen, TX

TE/DE Jeremy Sprinkle, 3-star, 6’6”, 215, White Hall, AR

TE *Demetrius Dean, 3-star, 6’3”, 250 pounds, Fayetteville, AR

CB Ray Buchanan Jr., 3-star, 5’10”, 170 pounds, Suwanee, GA

CB Jared Collins, 3-star, 5’11”, 170 pounds, Tulsa, OK

FS Will Hines, 3-star, 6’1”, 175 pounds, Waco, TX

SS Defonta Lowe, 3-star, 6’2”, 180 pounds, Bearden, AR

LB A.J. Turner, 3-star, 6’3”, 200 pounds, Lepanto, AR

LB Vin Ascolese, 3-star, 6’2”, 215 pounds, New Bergen, NJ

LB Otha Peters, 4-star, 6’1”, 220 pounds, Covington, LA

DE Brandon Lewis, 3-star, 6’5”, 220 pounds, Memphis, TN

DE JaMichael Winston, 3-star, 6’6”, 230 pounds, Prichard, AL

DE Darius Philon, 3-star, 6’1”, 282 pounds, Prichard, AL

DE Deatrich Wise Jr., 4-star, 6’5”, 220 pounds, Carrolton, TX

DE Taiwan Johnson, 3-star, 6’3”, 240 pounds, Manvel, TX

DE *#Austin Flynn, 3-star, 6’4”, 250 pounds, Los Angeles Harbor CC

*Early enrollee at University of Arkansas

# Denotes junior college player

Position by position breakdown of Arkansas 2012 verbal commitments:

Offensive line: two

Running backs: three

Wide receivers: five

Quarterbacks: none

Tight ends: two

Defensive line: six

Linebackers: three

Safeties: two

Cornerbacks: two

Kickers: none