Despite already owning pledges from a pair of high-level gunslingers in Cameron Rising and Casey Thompson, the Texas Longhorns may not be done adding to their 2018 quarterback haul.
Over the weekend, the ‘Horns hosted Corona Centennial (Calif.) product Tanner McKee, who made the lengthy journey from The Golden State to Austin for his first visit to the Forty Acres.
“[It] Was great,” McKee told Burnt Orange Nation of his visit. “Loved it.”
While Tom Herman and his staff have done an impressive job of selling recruits on the future of the program and the top-notch facility upgrades, McKee credited something many recruits leave Austin impressed with as what stood out most about his visit — the family atmosphere.
“Mostly the family environment,” McKee said. “Everyone there loved being part of the program. You could feel it.”
McKee, too, “liked how it felt out there” in Austin, and offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Tim Beck can largely be credited for the four-star passer’s overall enjoyment while in The Lone Star State.
“The staff is great,” McKee said. “We spent the whole day with coach Beck. Met a lot of other guys as well. They were all so excited to be there and it's almost as if they know they are going to do big things. They had me do a photo shoot with the entire Texas uni on. Coach Beck FaceTimed coach Herman in while I was dressed up so we could talk. I thought that was pretty cool.”
As for why the Beck and Herman are emphasizing an out-of-state talent like McKee after already picking up a pair of April commitments from two of the nation’s top quarterbacks, a handful of factors are at play.
For starters, McKee, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will serve a two-year mission following his high school graduation and essentially serve as a class of 2020 addition. Furthermore, McKee is a fast-rising prospect, climbing the recruiting rankings from No. 138 at the time of his March 8 offer to No. 74 now after a monster junior season in which he passed for 3,522 yards and 39 touchdowns in a scheme similar to what he’d orchestrate in Austin.
The similarities in scheme also play a factor in the reciprocated interest between McKee and the Longhorns.
“I think I'd fit in great there,” McKee said. “They run things similar to what we run at Centennial, theirs is just more complex with more formations. I like what they do.”
As for now, McKee will continue to explore the recruiting process and evaluate his options. McKee said he’ll start to plan out his official visits during the fall and will have no shortage of destinations to choose from, including Alabama, Georgia, Louisville, BYU, Nebraska, North Carolina and UCLA, among others.
Following his unofficial visit to Austin, Texas should feel good about its chances to secure one of his five official visits, as McKee said of his interest in the ‘Horns, “Texas will be high on the list.”
At 6’6, 220 pounds, McKee ranks as the nation’s No. 5 pro-style quarterback and the No. 9 player in California, per 247Sports Composite.