Though he had numerous offers to consider, a pull to stay close to home and play at Pitt, as well as family to play in front of in Atlanta, McKenzie stuck with that initial favorite, committing to the Hokies on Friday.
"I have had a lot of memories with my teammates and friends, and it's going to end today," McKenzie said. "With that being said, I will be attending Virginia Tech."
McKenzie made his announcement on Friday afternoon at his high school. He burst on to the recruiting scene with an explosive junior year. He had offers from every BCS conference.
Despite missing the majority of his senior season with a knee injury, McKenzie never saw his interest diminish. He took official visits to Florida State (November 2), Pittsburgh (December 6), Georgia Tech (December 13), and Virginia Tech (November 15).
This will be a quick turnaround for McKenzie as well. The first day for mid-year enrollees to sign was Wednesday. He has completed all of his high school requirements, and be able to formally graduate as early as next week. The first day of classes is January 21.
"Shai was one of the most, is one of the most recruited players in the entire country," Washington High head coach Mike Bosnic said. "I want all the younger guys in here to realize that none of this would have been possible if he wasn't a good student, too. He's worked extremely hard. He's a good student, he faced the injury this year. Because he worked hard, he put himself in the position he's in today."
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.
McKenzie was hurt during his fourth game of his senior season. He still finished with 650 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns, averaging 18.1 yards a carry.