SWAG ALERT: Shai McKenzie is PA’s Premiere Rusher
Posted February 26, 2013 1:01 am
Shai McKenzie had one of the most historical seasons in WPIAL history last year in 2012 as a junior running back for Washington High. Shai led his team to the WPIAL final game and a 12-0 record rushing 278 times for 2,700 yards with 42 touchdowns before losing to Aliquippa in the title game. Finestpreps.com got a chance to meet up with McKenzie to further discuss his recruitment and goals for himself and his team for his senior year.
McKenzie holds 22 offers as of now, when asked who is the biggest school to offer, Shai was hesitant to respond but ended up answering, “Michigan probably.” When asked what offers he would like to have from high end schools, McKenzie wasn’t hesitant to reply LSU and Georgia, stating, “LSU, I always grew up watching them, great running team with a great program, and it looks like it has a great offense. I like Georgia too.”
As of now, McKenzie has only visited two junior days; Pitt and Ohio State. When asked how he liked Ohio State, Shai surprised us with his answer, saying,
“Ohio State was pretty good, I talked to the coaches a lot and got to know them. The game (Indiana vs Ohio State basketball game) wasn’t too fun, they lost to Indiana. I really just didn’t feel I was a priority there, I just felt like I wasn’t a priority there and didn’t feel to comfortable.”
Being from WPIAL, Pitt has made McKenzie a priority. They have been saying how it is imperative to “build a fence around the WPIAL” and keep homegrown talents from traveling to college. When asked to comment about his junior day visit, Shai responded with saying:
“Pitt was a better environment… I know I have a good relationship with the running back coach. The basketball game was really fun, we had great seats. When we walked in they (the Pitt student section) was chanting a lot of our names and we really felt welcomed at Pitt.”
McKenzie is unsure if he will be taking anymore junior day visits, saying, “It’s hard to try and make it everywhere, me, my dad, and my coach are gonna try to narrow things down, and think about where we want to go because there’s too many coaches asking to come visit so we’re going to make a list soon.”
Shai’s recruitment is just starting to heat up. Asked when he will make a decision, he responded, “When I figure out what I want to major in.” Clearly showing that school will be a major factor in where he lands. Another factor that seems to be pretty high is playing time his freshman year. He does not want his time wasted and wants to be used immediately stating, “I want to just pick a school that wants to use me. I don’t want to have wasted time, I don’t want to go to a school and not get used as a freshman. I want to come in as a freshman and get experience to get better over the year.”
The final factor that we talked about for which school that Shai will look into is the type offense the team runs. He runs a pro-style at Washington High and feels it would be a nice transition into college. McKenzie went on to say:
“It can be pro-style it really doesn’t matter. I can work good in a spread offense too, I just don’t want to go to an offense that passes the ball the whole game, I’m like a downhill guy, I want to go to a team that runs downhill, that’s where I’m most effective.”
McKenzie is expected to have a phenomenal senior year by the media. Asking him personally about his individual goals, he seemed pretty confident about obtaining them and believing he will achieve them stating, “I plan on rushing for about 3500, and getting at least 50 touchdowns…. I want to bounce back next year and try to do my best to do better.” When asked about his team goals for the year, a WPIAL championship came into discussion fairly quickly, stating, “We want to get better, we want to go back to the Wpial [championship], to win a championship.”
McKenzie is revved up to have a phenomenal senior campaign and Finestpreps.com will be here to keep you updated on everything that goes on. Below are highlights from his junior year.