While this top linebacker was working hard in the classroom, the Bearcats coaching staff was working just as hard to keep this top prospect in their sights. All the hard work done by both sides has brought a positive ending.

Determination to play big time college football has paid off for Aliquipa (Pa.) linebacker Donnell McKenzie (6-2, 235, 4.7). McKenzie, had one last shot to make the grade and become eligible for the 2005 season, or he was headed to prep school. no need for that now, McKenzie has earned the needed academic status and has signed scholarship papers to attend the University of Cincinnati.

"I had a 1.9 GPA and I raised that up to a 2.9 GPA, I busted my tail and did the same studying that Darrelle Revis did," McKenzie said. I took classes after school, I put in the work."

McKenzie was thought to be a lock to attend Pittsburgh, with his Aliquippa teammates Tommie Campbell and Darrelle Revis. The Panthers did not have a scholarship to offer, but the Bearcats did.

"Cincinnati was always recruiting me, Coach Tressel was always there," McKenzie said. "Coach Dantonio came to the school, and asked me to come to UC for a visit, so I went there on Tuesday."

Apparently the visit went well, as McKenzie committed to the Bearcats and will join the incoming freshmen this season.

"My cousin Antoine Horton and I went down, I loved it," McKenzie said. "The campus is great and they're building some beautiful facilities."

Horton who is a junior at Cincinnati, is one of the Bearcats starting cornerbacks is a native of Rochester (Pa.) and is the cousin of McKenzie.

McKenzie will be one of six future Bearcats who will be playing in the annual Big 33 Football Classic, which features Ohio versus Pennsylvania in an All-Star game in Hershey, Pa. on July, 23rd

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