Blue Chip Chat with ... Shai McKenzie, Washington

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Year: Senior

Height: 6-0

Weight: 216

Pos: RB-LB


McKenzie, whose first name is pronounced "Shy," is a good-sized running back with good speed. He heads into his senior year ranked the No. 20 running back in the country by As a junior, McKenzie rushed for 2,689 yards on 232 carries, scored 42 touchdowns and was only 51 yards shy of Rushel Shell's WPIAL single-season rushing record. He helped Washington reach the WPIAL Class AA championship game before losing to Aliquippa at Heinz Field. McKenzie also will play defense this season (linebacker).


McKenzie is one of the most heavily recruited players in Western Pennsylvania. He had scholarship offers from colleges across the country before narrowing his final list to Pitt, Virginia Tech, Florida State, Georgia Tech and Arkansas. He said Virginia Tech is his top school for now.


You were pretty darn good last year, but your coach said you should be even better this year? Yes. I've gotten a lot stronger and even faster since last year. I've even matured a lot more. Going to Heinz Field last year gave me a lot of motivation and gave me more goals and higher standards.

You have a record as one of your goals this year? I was only 51 yards short of Rushel Shell's record so I hope to get that this year.

Your team lost a lot of good players from last year. How good will you guys be this year? I still think we're going to be really good. We still have some players coming back and some of the young guys are starting to mature. I think we'll be even better than last year.

Of your five final schools, I understand Florida State might be your favorite? Actually, Virginia Tech is. I visited there this summer and I just liked everything about it. I like the campus, the coaches, the opportunity to play. It's a great campus and great atmosphere.

If there is a WPIAL fantasy league, who should be the No. 1 pick, other than you? [Aliquippa's] Dravon Henry.

If you have to eat breakfast somewhere other than home, you're going where? Eat'n Park.

Johnn Manziel should? Just go to the NFL.


What was a fun thing you did this summer? I went to the beach for the first time. Myrtle Beach. I went with a friend. It was pretty fun and a good experience. But I was scared to see jellyfish next to me in the water.

See any sharks? There were actually people catching little sharks when they were fishing off the shore. I pretty much stayed out of the water after that [laugh].

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First Published August 11, 2013 4:00 AM


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