"I wanted to get it out of the way before my senior season," Jermaine McKenzie said of his decision. "I chose Alabama because it was the right fit for me both from an academic and athletic standpoint. I think I can go in and make an immediate impact."
In fact, McKenzie is so anxious to make an impact he has been working on his academics this summer.
"I hope to graduate this December and be enrolled at Alabama in January," he said.
McKenzie will start his senior season for Bradenton Academy, founded in 1975, but this is the first year for football at the school.
"We start practice on Monday (August 7), and I feel really good about where I am," he said. "We have a sophomore quarterback, Tavaris Hines, that is really good." "I've been working on my speed and strength this summer. I ran a 4.5 [40-yard dash] at Florida's camp but didn't have to run one at Alabama's. I have not maxed on my bench, but I am up to a 350 squat."
When asked his strengths, he's quick to list them, "My speed, my routes, just everything, but I love blocking." For emphasis he restated, "I love blocking."
Rebecca Johnston: What is your favorite moment in sports history?
Jermaine McKenzie: My first touchdown. I scored in my first game in high school last year.
RJ: This is only your second year of high school football?
JM: Yes, I played basketball. I did play pee wee football.
RJ: Did the football coach recruit you to play?
RJ: What would you do first if you won the lottery?
JM: I would buy a house.
RJ: Who is the most important person in your life?
RJ: What is the hardest thing you've ever gone through?
JM: Transferring schools between my sophomore and junior years. A lot of people hated me. They didn't want me to go.
RJ: What's the funniest thing that ever happened to you?
JM: When I broke my arm. It was funny.
RJ: There has to be a story with that.
JM: I was running down the stairs of our apartment complex when I was younger (1st grade) the day before my birthday. I was racing my brother, and I tried to take a shortcut. I jumped from the second story landing to the ground and broke my elbow in three places.
RJ: What is something we don't know about your head coach?
JM: (Coach Brad Johnson) That he played for a Division II college in California, and he is from California.
RJ: Who is the best player on your team (besides you)?
JM: My twin brother Tremaine.
RJ: What position does he play?
JM: Fullback and outside linebacker.
RJ: What is your favorite thing about school?
RJ: What subject?
JM: History is my favorite.
RJ: Do you know your college major?
JM: I'm going to major in business.
RJ: What is your favorite childhood memory?
JM: Getting my first bicycle.
RJ: What is your greatest virtue?
JM: My personality.
RJ: Tell us about your personality.
JM: I'm laid back, funny and outgoing.
RJ: What is the virtue you most admire in others?
JM: Honesty and loyalty.
RJ: Do you have pets?
RJ: What is your favorite food?
JM: Shrimp Pasta.
RJ: Who is your favorite musical performer?
RJ: What is your favorite video game?
JM: NCAA College Football 2007.
JM: Snicker Boy
RJ: How did you get that?
JM: When I went to a summer program in elementary school the only thing I ate were Snickers at snack time.
RJ: Do you still love them or are you sick of them?
JM: I still love them
RJ: What is your favorite season of the year?
RJ: If you could visit any place where would you go?
RJ: Where would you like to live?
RJ: Do you think the last two answers are because of your love of history?
JM: Yes Ma'am.
RJ: Who is your hero?
JM: Michael Jordan.
RJ: What is your proudest moment?
JM: Committing to Alabama.
RJ: Excluding football what is your favorite sport?
RJ: If you could attend a football game with two people, one a family member or friend and the other person someone you don't know but, that you admire, who would you take?
JM: My dad and Chad Jackson.
RJ: After your college career is over how would you like to be remembered in their history?
JM: One of the greatest football players.
Rebecca Johnston is a feature writer for ScoutSouth.com.