A couple days ago, the Syracuse football staff extended an offer to junior college offensive tackle Anthony McKinney. Lately, McKinney has been on the receiving end of a number of big-time offers, including Oregon, Oklahoma, and TCU. But Syracuse may have an edge in his recruitment already on campus, and another one arriving this summer.

The first would be rising sophomore defensive end Josh Black, who saw the field early and often for the Orange last season. As it turns out, Black and McKinney were teammates at Harlem High in Machesney, Illinois.

The second connection is Mykelti Williams, the safety who started his career at Notre Dame before transferring to Iowa Western, where he was a teammate of McKinney’s. Hopefully, those connections might give Syracuse an advantage in trying to reel in the big, agile McKinney.

At 6-foot-8, 330, McKinney is a monster on the offensive line. But he’s also got plenty of athleticism and quickness, having also been a standout wrestler at Harlem. If you need an indication of how much potential McKinney has at the tackle position, consider this: he never played football before his junior year of high school, but has seen numerous Power 5 programs come in, beating his door down to try to snag him.

McKinney has one year left at Iowa Western, so he’ll have two years of eligibility at whichever school he chooses. But he’s certainly got the size and talent to become a big-time player at the college level and, potentially, wind up playing on Sundays in a few years. He’d be a massive (figuratively and literally) recruiting win for Syracuse, and having Josh Black already on campus, and Williams arriving this summer, can only help the cause for the Orange.

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Jeff is a 2003 graduate of Syracuse University, and has been published on various websites including,,,, and, among others. His work was featured in the New York Times bestselling book You Might Be a Zombie and Other Bad News. He's got a wife, and a toddler he's brainwashing to love Syracuse. Jeff's a pretty great guy, overall, and would never steal your car. Follow him on Twitter: @jekelish