USF's McKenzie Has to Wait to Impress

USF linebacker Tyrone McKenzie was one of two Bull representatives at the NFL combine last week in Indy. however, the Bulls standout only participated in the bench press, and will have to wait until USF's Pro Day to further impress NFL coaches and scouts. Stay informed with

Tyrone McKenzie, USF's standout linebacker has made a name for himself entering this year's draft. He led the Bulls with 105 tackles, 14 for a loss, with one sack during the season, the third consecutive season that he has totaled at least 100 tackles. T-Mac was a unanimous first team pick by the Big East coaches after earning second-team BIG EAST in 2007, and after a strong showing at the senior bowl, he went to this year's NFL Scouting Combine as one of the most consistent linebackers in this year's Draft.

"I want to show that I'm one of the best linebackers in the draft this year," said McKenzie. "I'm playing as good as anybody in the country, and went out there to show the scouts what I can do."

Tyrone went up to Indianapolis rated as the seventh-best college linebacker in the nation by NFL scouts, and was looking to increase his stock with a strong performance at the combine with hopes of being USF's highest drafted player ever.

"It's huge and it's one of my goals. Basically, I came out here to show that I'm the best linebacker here. That's why I'm competing, that's why I went to the Senior Bowl because I felt I was the best linebacker in the draft."

McKenzie's strengths are his playmaking ability, his knowledge of the game, and his versatility. He can play all three linebacker positions, and has a nose for the ball.

"I'm a playmaker on the field. I make tackles, tackles for loss, interceptions. I'm going to be a sideline-to-sideline player, and on top of that, I'm a student of the game. I know what I need to do and I'm going to know what the person next to me knows what to do," said T-Mac. "Basically, determination to succeed in this league is going to help me get to the next level."

McKenzie actually measured 6-feet, 2 inches, and 243 pounds, so he's one of the bigger linebackers in the draft. However, he's just as strong and quick. McKenzie bench pressed 225 pounds 27 times, and tied for the fifth strongest linebacker at the combine. Only Cushing (30), Freeman (30), Kaluka Maiava from Southern Cal (30) and Anthony Felder from Cal (28) had more repetitions. Scott McKillop from Pitt (27), Brinkley (26), Curry (25), Jonathan Casillas from Wisconsin (24) and Lee Robinson from Alcorn State (24) completed the top 10.

Tyrone was hoping to be among the top performers in the other events, but he hurt his hamstring during the 40 yard dash, and ran a 4.7-40, which is well off his mark. "I strained my hamstring during the 40, and still ran a 4.7 on a bum leg," said T-Mac. It is not considered a serious injury (strain at worst), but was too sore to compete in the rest of the events while in Indy, and for precautionary reasons he will wait until the school's Pro Day before working out.

McKenzie began as a second-day NFL Draft selection and after his solid showing at the Senior Bowl, saw his stock climb and was hoping a strong combine would push him higher. Tyrone is now back training in Georgia and will do all the events he missed at the combine at the Bulls Pro Day next Friday on the campus of USF, and for now he'll have to wait a few weeks to further impress the NFL coaches and scouts.

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