Interest In McKenzie Continues To Grow

Shai McKenzie added another offer over the weekend. He also recaps his Pitt junior day visit.

Halfway through his junior year, Shai McKenzie feels hes already getting used to the heavy amount of interest he's been receiving.

With Arkansas offering over the weekend, he now has 18 verbal offers. Arkansas running backs coach Joel Thomas has been recruiting McKenzie.

"It's a little overwhelming, but I'm getting used to it," McKenzie said. "I hear from several colleges, sometimes it's hard to get back to all of them. Being a junior, they can't really call me, but I'll contact."

McKenzie was at Ohio State's junior day Sunday, and before that it was Pitt's junior day. He said it didn't take long to see that Pitt is very interested in him.

I got to meet the coaches; me and my dad got to spend some time with the coaches," McKenzie said. "I felt like I was building a great relationship with the running backs coach (Desmond Robinson). There weren't really a lot of other running backs in the room.

"(Robinson) is really interested, he pointed me out. I got to sit next to him on the bus (on the way to the basketball game). He was telling me how interested he was, and how he wanted to coach me one day."

McKenzie says hearing those kind of things don't add to the pressure of being recruited by a lot of schools. It's simply a nice thing to hear.

"It feels good to be a priority; number one," McKenzie said. "I know it's real close to home, and a lot of people expect me to go to the home team. It was my first junior day. It was good to just meet all the coaches."

McKenzie also added he'd like to play in a pro-style offense, which is something that should keep Pitt in the running.

"I know I'll do my best in a pro-style formation," McKenzie said. "We ran that this year. That's the best for me."

McKenzie, and the other 34 recruits in attendance also received a warm ovation from the fans when they entered the Petersen Events Center. That's something that can't hurt either.

"I never really went to a basketball game," McKenzie said. "People are chanting my name. I didn't think they even knew who I was. They seem interested in the future. It's a great class (of prospects)."

McKenzie is already in his offseason conditioning program for football. After Ohio State this past weekend, he's not sure of which junior day he'll attend next. He will participate in an Under Armour combine at the UPMC Sports Complex on April 29 in Pittsburgh.

As a junior, McKenzie rushed for over 2,700 yards and 42 touchdowns, averaging over 12 yards a carry. He earned first-team all-conference and all-state honors, helping his team to a 12-1 record. His coach, Mike Bosnic, is a former Pitt offensive lineman (1997-2001).

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