McKenzie Sets VT Visit

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Washington (PA) star running back Shai McKenzie saw his stellar high school career come to premature end when he suffered a torn ACL in a 66-10 win over Charleroi on September 13, his team’s third game of the 2013 season. The 6’0″, 220-pound senior underwent surgery on September 20, and over a month later he is feeling good and on the right track recovery-wise.

“He’s doing well,” Washington head coach Mike Bosnic said. “He had the surgery done at UPMC Sports Medicine. It went real smooth. The surgeon said he is so strong and his bones are so strong that he had a hard time moving around to fix the ACL, but it went smooth. Shai’s already moving around. Also, at our school we have a plan for him to graduate in December. He’ll be able to get to college in January and he’ll be able to rehab first-class.”

McKenzie finished his senior season with 650 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns, including 198 yards and three scores in the Charleroi game. He averaged 18 yards per carry. As a junior McKenzie rushed for 2,689 yards and 41 scores, establishing himself as one of the state’s best in the class of 2014.

“For me, a guy like Shai comes around once in a coaching lifetime,” Bosnic said. “He has that combination of speed, explosiveness, and size. He is a guy who definitely can take it in between the tackles because he has nice size and he’s strong. He possesses explosiveness that doesn’t come around often. My best memories will be watching him explode through the hole. Since the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette began keeping stats — I think it was in 1971 — he finished [the 2012 season] with the highest yards-per-carry average ever for a guy who rushed for at least a thousand yards. He was injured and it’s tough and sad, not only for Shai but for the community and the people in the area.”

Washington High’s all-time leading rusher now has a decision to make. After earning 30 major college scholarship offers, McKenzie narrowed his list of schools to five: Arkansas, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh, and Virginia Tech. Coach Bosnic believes the star recruit will take all five official visits before committing, but really only three schools are the primary contenders at this point.

“I think his decision is probably going to come down to Pitt and Virginia Tech and Florida State, not necessarily in that order,” Bosnic said.

Pitt is only 30-40 minutes from McKenzie’s