247Sports released their initial rankings for the 2022 class of recruits, the top rising sophomores from around the country, and you don’t have to scroll down too far to see Lubbock Cooper defensive standout Kobie McKinzie on the list.
The 6-foot-2, 227-pound five-star recruit is rated as the No. 38 overall prospect in the country, the top outside linebacker in the nation and the No. 2 overall recruit in Texas for the 2022 class. To make the news even sweeter and to put into perspective how old these recruits are in this class, McKinzie also celebrated his 16th birthday Thursday.
“That’s pretty crazy that I’m ranked that high,” McKinzie said. “I didn’t think I would be, but I’m blessed to be in that position.”
McKinzie announced his commitment to Texas Tech back in February after visiting the campus and meeting with new head coach Matt Wells and his staff.
“They were excited and happy to have me coming and honestly I just wanted to get over with it,” said McKinzie shortly after committing. “Tech has always been a dream school and the coaches just made it feel right, especially Coach Wells–he’s the man–I can tell you right now that’s the guy I wanna play for in the future. And Coach Patterson me and him had a great conversation and I loved everything about the visit.”
Since then McKinzie’s recruitment has really taken off. As of Thursday, in addition to Tech, he holds reported offers from Illinois State, Incarnate Word, North Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, SMU and Texas A&M. He’s already stacked all these offers with three seasons of high school ball to play which means the Red Raiders are going to have to fend off a lot of other potential suitors for an extended period of time. For example, McKinzie recently visited both Oklahoma and Texas A&M and told Inside the Red Raiders both trips went well. That being said, he’s also visited Tech’s campus numerous times, including several this summer and even participated in Chris Beard’s basketball camp.
So where does he stand right now?
“Those visits (to Oklahoma and Texas A&M) went great,” McKinzie said. “I’m standing good with the Tech coaches. I still talk to Coach David Yost and stuff. I love Coach Yost. He’s a great coach and a better man.”
He’s mentioned Red Raider head coach Matt Wells, defensive coordinator Keith Patterson and now Yost, the offensive coordinator, which is a good sign for Tech, but begs another question–what position will McKinzie play at the next level? He’s already a legit 6-2, 227 pounds entering his sophomore year, blessed with tremendous speed and athleticism. How big will he get?
McKinzie said right now Tech sees him as an outside linebacker, which means in Patterson’s system he’d be a rusher coming off the edge and also asked to play in space either at Raider or Spur. McKinzie said most of the other schools project him as an inside linebacker. If he keeps growing he could be one of the top defensive end prospects in the nation and can probably play multiple skill positions on offense as well. There’s no telling where he’ll end up.
One thing is for certain, McKinzie’s future is bright as one of the most highly rated recruits to come out of Lubbock in recent memory. For now he’s focusing on his sophomore season at Cooper High School.
“The season looks great. We are a great team. We should be good,” said McKinzie.