Where Exactly Does Shai McKenzie Stand with His Top 5 Schools?
Posted June 24, 2013 7:40 pm
Pitt fans blew up Shai McKenzie’s twitter feed today and spurred a lot of controversy with the star-studded recruit. It all came in light of Rushel Shell announcing he wanted to return to Pitt. McKenzie vocalized saying Pitt would be soft to let the former 5-star runningback back on the team. Then came the criticism… of Pitt fans.
Pitt fans started bashing Shai, for what it looked like from my perspective, for no apparent reason. He then started to respond to the criticism. As Pitt fans continued to heckle Shai, it became more and more clear his #1 school of choice is indeed Florida State. Mckenzie even went on to say via his twitter feed, “Some of you Pitt fans are sorry little did you know Im taking an all day visit down there Thursday looks like I need to cancel that.” He then brought up how he cannot wait until his decision day, February 5, 2014, or National Signing Day. With all of this being said, we here at Preps.com have a few questions to ask. Where does Shai stand with his top 5 schools? Does Pitt turning down Rushel Shell tell him anything about our coaching staff? And do twitter hecklers really have an impact on his recruitment? We decided to hit McKenzie up and find out for ourselves.
We started the interview asking him why he chose his Top 5 (in order): FSU, Pitt, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, and Arkansas.
Florida State: He felt like it was a whole different atmosphere at Florida State. He visited with his entire family and really enjoyed himself. He stated, “Everything is a lot different from the schools up north I’ve been to…. It’s campus is all together so you really don’t need a car… It’s a football town, there’s a lot to do and it was a good environment.”
Pitt: McKenzie likes Pitt because of how close he is with the coaching staff. He also feels as if he has the best opportunity to play early at Pitt. he went on to say this: “I like Pitt at #2 because of the opportunity level at Pitt…They’re building a program to a point where they could be really good in the future. It’s my hometown team and I have a lot of respect for Pitt… Overall it’s a pretty good setup for me and I can see myself at a school like that.”
Georgia Tech: “I like this school a lot because it’s like fifteen minutes away from my mother. My mom, aunt, and sister all live down there… There’s just so much to do in Georgia… They also convinced me they have the double package, both athletics and academics. Even if I don’t go pro, getting a degree from Georgia Tech is really good. That’s why I have them there.”
Virginia Tech: Shai likes Virginia Tech because they haven’t stopped recruiting him. He has yet to make a visit down there but he likes that they still show a lot of interest. As other schools stopped recruiting him if he didn’t visit, Virginia Tech has still been on him despite not seeing his face on their campus. They will remain in his top 5 at least until he makes a visit to get a better understanding of the school.
Arkansas: Arkansas is like Virginia Tech. He has yet to go down for a visit but they still continue to recruit him. He loves the fact that he has a chance to play in the SEC. He also stated he feels Arkansas is another team that is building themselves up. He plans on visiting July 20th.
As stated before, he got into a little twitter beef earlier. when asked about how that impacts his recruitment, he had to say this,
“I had a visit on Thursday, but honestly I think I’m not going anyways because I’m going to Oregon on Friday (for Nike’s “The Opening”)… My father is working all day so I really don’t think I was going to make that trip anyways.”
He also commented on the Shell situation Pitt is in right now, stating: “When I heard he was getting put back on the team, it pretty much up-setted me. When I got the final news that they weren’t letting him back on the team, I thought that was the smarter move, I don’t think you should bring all that into your program… That’s something you don’t want to put in your program, especially when you’re trying to build athletes…. I feel like they made the best decision.”
Shai will be attending Nike’s “The Opening” later this week. We wish him luck up there at Oregon and during his senior year.