Who: Jake McKenzie
High School: Indianapolis Heritage Christian
Current Height/Weight: 6-4 278
Projected Position: OT
Other Offers: Indiana State
Analysis: When he first joined the Ball State Coaching Staff, OLine Coach Kyle DeVan spoke of the need to add athletic big guys, not just guys that plod along and take up space. He has famously said "I don't catch fat guys" but rather guys that move well that can grow into their position. One player that comes to mind automatically when looking at this philosophy is McKenzie. An “under-the-radar” prospect, McKenzie played a ton of DE as a junior proving to be effective as a 255-260 athlete on the defensive side of the ball. McKenzie played more frequently as a senior on the offensive line where he was able to show his natural ability and growing skill set. McKenzie has very solid athleticism and moves extremely well for his size. He is already up to 278 and will continue to grow into his body in a college weight program. McKenzie has quick feet and long arms and can pull effectively. McKenzie showed his ability to run and his short area quickness/burst to deliver a quick blow on the move. McKenzie has the length and athleticism to play at tackle, but also has the speed and pulling ability to play OG as well.
Outlook: McKenzie will have to take time to put on good, quality weight, but his athleticism will mean he will see time sooner than later. McKenzie’s ability to move and his length means he can play inside or out and that versatility means he can play multiple positions in the future if needed. He enrolled early, giving him extra time in the weight room prior to his true freshman campaign. The more we see of McKenzie, the higher our expectations are of him.