Shai McKenzie To Transfer From Virginia Tech

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Shai McKenzie
Shai McKenzie in the Battle at Bristol (Ivan Morozov)

Rising redshirt-junior tailback Shai McKenzie announced his decision to transfer from Virginia Tech on Twitter on Thursday night.  McKenzie reports that he plans to graduate from Tech so that he can enroll at his new school and play immediately.

McKenzie signed with Virginia Tech as a highly-touted recruit from Pennsylvania.  He had 53 carries for 269 yards and three touchdowns as a true freshman in 2014, averaging 5.1 yards per carry in the process.  However, he tore his ACL that year for the second time having previously torn it as a high school senior.

After redshirting in 2015, McKenzie returned to the field in 2016, carrying the ball 20 times for 76 yards and a touchdown.  However, he did not appear in a game after Tech’s loss to Syracuse on October 20.

The following is the statement that he released on Twitter…

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21 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Really strange how coach didn’t play Shai this year. Maybe he wasn’t healthy who knows. But the ring around the RB won’t work in 2017 and u less we get another bruiser QB who can run 50% of our carries then it’ll be worse. CJF got it to work at Memphis, but I didn’t understand last season.

  2. He’s a smart young man to put his education above all else! Good luck in the future and once a Hokie, always a Hokie!

  3. When healthy, Shai was our best option at RB in 2014. He had the “it” factor. Bad luck for both him and Hokie football that he didn’t stay healthy and run wild on ACC defenses. I truly hope he finds a good fit, stays healthy, and has a big year. Preferably not in the ACC. 🙂

  4. Good luck my man. Lets hope you can regain your high school talents. ACLs sometimes take a couple of years to recover from

  5. Don’t know what happened for him to be in the Coaches dog house. He was #1 on my depth chart. Keep that knee healthy and I know you will have plenty of Hokie’s wishing you much success in the future. Keep your head up- the cream rises to the top!

  6. Shai: Thanks for all you have contributed to VT football. Best of the luck moving forward. Classy guy with lots of talent. Sorry you are leaving Tech.

  7. Shai, congratulations on earning your degree! Good luck with your future pursuits and earning your masters!

  8. Shai and Marshawn were big gets when they came to Tech, in the mold of big backs that previously toted the rock for Beamer. Shai was damaged goods coming off a knee injury in high school, yet he had numerous offers from FBS schools. I thought we had come up with another Ryan Williams or Darren Evans. Shai had a solid first year, but unfortunately he wrecked his knee, and things got ugly after that, leading to this outcome. Shai and Marshawn both deserved better and should have been high on the career total rushing yards list at Virginia Tech.

    They also happened to be the last big time running backs recruited to come to Virginia Tech. Our run game has been in decline in recent years, and the scramble of who would play the position, is well documented. It very well may been a cause of a 29-23 record from 2012-2015. Shane Beamer’s lack of experience as a running backs coach probably contributed to the problem. All I know is that Shai is the last “name” recruit we’ve had at running back since 2013. We’ve just come out of our first 10 win season since 2011 due to a new offensely minded head coach with emphasis on the pass game and a little luck considering our depleted run game that sorely needs some highly regarded recruits. McMillian had his 1,000 yard season in 2015, but I, for one, do not consider him a big time back like we’ve had pretty consistently for three decades, maybe longer.

    I implore Coach Fuente to get a couple big time backs into the football program That’s what we need to win the ACC. We’ve had three QB transfers the last three years. Why not a couple of running backs transfers?

    1. One of the reasons you don’t see many running back transfers is because the good ones usually only run a couple of years and then they are off to the pros. The clock on running backs is accelerated due to the pounding they take. By the 3rd year they are either off to the NFL or they are low on the depth chart.

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