Cardinals Pick Up Indiana OLineman

Ball State picks up its 4th commitment on Wednesday - from an Indianapolis Area OT.

It was a pretty faced paced 6 days for Indianapolis Heritage Christian OT Jake McKenzie.

The 6-4 260 OT went from relative unknown in recruiting circles, to picking up an offer from Indiana State (his first) to picking up and then committing to Ball State.

"Well, I would like to say first and foremost, I wouldn't be at this point without an enormous number of people who have been placed in my life to help me along the way," McKenzie said of his recruitment. "Specifically my head coach, Ron Qualls, my parents, Dylan Gandy, and Justin Robinson to name a few. It's been a relief to know that years of hard work is paying off and finally am getting results for that work. I feel honored and humbled that Coach (Mike) Neu and his staff feel that I am good fit for their program, just as I feel they are the right fit for me."

McKenzie's time as a holder of an offer from Ball State to his commitment as a Cardinal was a brief one - the athletic OT had only picked up an offer a few hours prior to pledging to the Cardinal coaching staff.

" I woke up this morning to a Twitter message from Coach Joey Lynch saying that I needed to give him a call ASAP," McKenzie said. "When I did, he and (Offensive Line) Coach (Kyle) DeVan were in the room and gave me the news. I have been to Ball State many times. In fact, both of my parents are Ball State Alums. I think that Coach Neu and his staff are extremely qualified and a fantastic fit for BSU. I believe that they have what it takes and have the right people in the right places to win games and make something special happen. I am fired up to be a part of that."

McKenzie, an ever growing 6-4 260 OT, played a significant role on both sides of the ball for Heritage Christian but projects solely as an OT at the next level. His ability as a standout DE as a prep helped solidify him as an athletic big man who will be able to retain that athleticism as he grows his body into his new role.

"I feel that as a player, I want to do whatever the team needs me to do so that other players will benefit and put the team in the best possible position to win," McKenzie said of what he will bring to the Cardinals' program. "Individually, as a player I try to push myself to my limits every chance I get to make myself better. I think that the best player I can make myself, physically and mentally, that will make the team better, no matter what my role is."


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