Monday, Sept. 27, 2021 | 12:18 p.m.
When Noah McKinney and his family entered the UNLV football training complex on Sunday afternoon for a visit, they were greeted by the entire Rebel coaching staff at the entrance.
The Coronado High School offensive lineman was blown away with the hospitality. A few hours later, the class of 2022 prospect verbally committed to the program.
“The biggest thing is they made me feel really wanted,” McKinney said. “Every single coach was there to say what’s up and greet my family.”
The 6-foot-6, 280-pound McKinney picked the Rebels over a scholarship offer from Texas Southern. He was also being recruited by Arizona and UNR.
McKinney was exclusively a basketball player until last year, when he decided to join the football team at his school in the Dallas area. McKinney, who moved to Henderson in August, is noted for his speed and quickness but will have to add strength in the weight room.
“I can move for my size,” McKinney said.
Coronado coach Fred Biletnikoff Jr. said McKinney has that nasty edge that all offensive linemen need to be successful.
“I wouldn’t call him a project, despite only playing football two years,” the coach said. “He’s got a great understanding of the game and really absorbs knowledge. I think UNLV is getting a good one.”
McKinney will be the third Las Vegas area player to go directly from a local high school to the UNLV program in coach Marcus Arroyo’s three recruiting classes. Legacy wide receiver Aaron Holloway was part of the 2021 signing class, and Liberty quarterback Jayden Maiava is committed for the class of 2022.
But with how Arroyo and his staff welcomed the family, McKinney likely won’t be the last. He posed for pictures wearing a UNLV uniform, and his younger siblings — Braydon and Graceson Snow — also put on a jersey for the photo session. Touring the facility was a thrill for the boys, ages 11 and 10.
“They went right to sleep when we got home,” McKinney said.
McKinney is the fifth prospect in UNLV’s 2022 class, according to the 247 Sports recruiting database. The early signing period begins in December.