Having missed his entire junior year with a knee injury, the spring was crucial for Concord (Calif.) Clayton Valley offensive tackle Jalen McKenzie (6-5, 289).
Now McKenzie is prepared for an even more crucial beginning to his senior season, where four schools have said they'll be watching the start of the year closely.
"Some of the schools I want to visit, I'm waiting on for offers," said McKenzie. "Some schools said they want to see my first two games."
"Tennessee especially has said they just want to see film, any film. Game film, scrimmages, film period. They just want to see me in pads. The thing about California is that you can't be in pads until late before the season," said McKenzie.
UCLA and Arizona State both offered McKenzie in the spring and he said those two are recruiting him the hardest.
"UCLA of all the schools I've been offered by, is recruiting me the hardest," said McKenzie, whose mom went to UCLA. "Coach (Adrian) Klemm is the one recruiting me. I think I'm going to take an official visit there."
Arizona State has also been staying on him.
"Coach (Chris) Thomsen at Arizona State is also recruiting me pretty hard. They've been on me for a while," said McKenzie.
While McKenzie said he's likely to take an official visit to UCLA, he's hoping the offers come from the four schools staying in the most contact.
"I want to take official visits to Michigan, USC, Tennessee, LSU and UCLA," said McKenzie.
McKenzie showed in the spring that the rust was off and that he was healthy. Now he's ready to prove it in pads.
"I feel pretty confident with my knee," said McKenzie. "I feel I'm even way better than I was before. I'm bigger, faster and stronger. I was poised to have a good year last year. I put in a lot of work before I got hurt. I had something to prove. I still have something to prove."
McKenzie won't rush into a decision.
"Since I got hurt and I'm a little behind, I will probably take my official visits and decide on Signing Day," said McKenzie.
McKenzie said he's lost a little weight since the spring, but is in his target range.
"I'm 289 right now, and i want to play between 285-290," said McKenzie.