football

Rivals250 RB McKenzie names top five

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Everyone knew it was coming soon but now Shai McKenzie has made it official. On Friday evening, the running back from Washington (Pa.) released his official top five on Twitter.
"Florida State is at the top because I felt like it was a great school and a great fit for me," said the 6-foot, 212-pound McKenzie. "I went down there with both parents and they really enjoyed all the things the school had to say. They have good weather and the people are good to be around. Everybody was really talkative and nice even at the restaurant we went to. It wasn't a dirty area and wasn't too city like. The dorms are wonderful. I wouldn't need a car to be on that campus. It's a big campus but everything is walking distance. The people were good to be around and the opportunity down there with their depth chart is very good.
"Pittsburgh is number two," he said. "I really have a good relationship with my position coach, Coach Robinson. My mom and my dad really like want's going on at Pitt. Coach Robinson really enjoyed talking to my parents. Overall, Oakland is a pretty good area and it's close to home. It can be beneficial. The people are really nice down there, I'm used to it and they have a really good tradition. It's a place I could definitely see myself playing.
"Georgia Tech is pretty similar to Florida State," McKenzie said of his third ranked school. "They have good people, good football and good education. A good education is very important to me so everything ties together very well for me. If don't manage to ever go pro from there I'd always still have that education to back me up. The opportunity level there is also good. They're only going to take one running back out of my class. If I were to commit it would be a really good opportunity for myself. I feel like they are going to stay in the mix. Atlanta is a really nice city, like a bigger Pittsburgh. There's always something to do. When I was down there for a visit I stayed with some guys and got to know a lot of people.
"Virginia Tech is in fourth," he said. "I think I'll be able to go down there on July 13. I think they have a junior day then. I was talking to my recruiter, Coach Loeffler, and said that they could be higher on the list if I visited.
"It's the same thing with Arkansas, who is in fifth," McKenzie explained. "It's a school that I always wanted to visit and a school that I always liked. They're a school that separated themselves because the visited in the spring. Some schools offered and never kept in contact or visited the school. Virginia Tech also never gave up. I've been in touch with the Arkansas staff since they were at Wisconsin."
McKenzie isn't one of those recruits that takes a lot of visits, which makes each one exponentially more important.
"I'm going to try to get to Virginia Tech on July 13 but I really don't know if I'm going to go anywhere else," he said. "I might end up saving Arkansas for an official visit. It's really hard to get out to al these schools like I posted on Twitter. Coaches were getting mad at me for not coming to see their school. A lot of coaches weren't fine with me just coming for an official and that's fine because there are other schools that are recruiting me heavily. I have a pretty busy summer with 7-on-7s, recruiting and camps. I'm trying to do my best and I can only do as much as my family can do."
With over 30 scholarship offers, there were plenty of schools that almost made McKenzie's short list.
"I would have to say Vanderbilt, Oklahoma, South Carolina and North Carolina were all pretty close to making this list," said McKenzie. "It was pretty tough. I had to sit down for a couple hours and think about everything. I had to call some coaches and see where I stood with these schools. I know some were going to be disappointed but if they never came to visit, I never felt like a priority for them. If I wasn't a priority for them, why should I make them a priority? The fans could be upset but, if they see the big picture, some of these schools never really talked to me."
McKenzie left the window open for other schools to jump up his list.
"There are still some schools that I like but I'm not going to tell the media," he said. "The top five is subject to change because some schools could change and start recruiting me really hard after the season I'm expecting to have."
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