Mt. SAC's Roderick finds his way

Some players take longer to "find themselves" and determine what they want to do with their lives. Such is the case with Mt. San Antonio LB Roderick Mackenzie (5-10, 249) who moved to the states from American Samoa and has now found that he loves the game of football and wants to continue it on as far as he can take it.

"I moved here in 2003," Roderick, who will turn 21 this year, told "Coach Iona Uiagalelei knew me from when I was in high school (Tafuna High in American Samoa) and called me up.

"I took a few years to really ‘find myself' and I spoke to coach Uiagalelei and he asked me if I was still interested in playing. He's been a great support for me and he took me in and has helped me stay focused on what I need to and to get my life in order. It's just a privilege to play for Mt. SAC."

In 2006, Mackenzie took over the reigns of the Mounties' defense and had a stellar season posting over 80 tackles even though he had never played linebacker before.

"It was an adventure," Mackenzie said with a laugh. "It was tough coming in and not knowing exactly what to do, but the coaches said I did well and this year I'm way ahead of where I was last year."

Secondary coach James Kuk said it best about Mackenzie when he was running down some of Mt. San Antonio's best defensive players.

"He's just a hitter and a pure football player," Kuk said. "He loves violence. There were a couple of fullbacks whose legs just buckled when they took him on in the hole. Every time he was in on a collision, guys were going backward and it was just a very violent collision whenever he sniffed something out.

"He was all conference last year and we expect that much and more from him this season. He's got quite a few teams interested in him."

Those teams are Oregon State, Iowa State and North Texas at this point.

"Those schools are the ones talking to me the most," Mackenzie said. "I'm basically open to anyone that wants to look at me. I'm just thankful I might have a chance to keep playing ball because football is so important to me."

Mackenzie had a solid combine in May, posting a 4.7 forty time, a 30-inch vertical leap and he put up 225 pounds 27 times.

"My strength and my ability to read plays are my biggest assets," Mackenzie said. "I love hitting and playing the game. It's fun to play this game. How can you not love it?"

With his focus squarely on football and school, Mackenzie said he's working hard to finish up his two-year degree in December.

"I'm taking extra classes now and I'm hoping to finish in December, but it's going to be tough," Mackenzie said. "I didn't start school until last fall so I have work to do, but if I don't finish in December I will definitely be done in May."

Wherever Mackenzie ends up, he'll have three years to play two and he won't be needing to find himself – he already has.

Roderick Mackenzie Scout Profile

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