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Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Big schools not shy about RB McKenzie

By Josh Moyer

Running back Shai McKenzie said he's already feeling overwhelmed with the recruiting process. Just this week, the junior from Washington (Pa.) earned another four scholarship offers and performed a dozen interviews.

"But," he added, "it's a good problem to have."

The tailback now has a dozen FBS offers, the most recent of which came from Penn State, Tennessee, West Virginia and Wisconsin. He's also receiving a lot of interest from Ohio State -- and plans to attend its Junior Day on Feb. 10 -- but he already boasts another front-runner.

"Tennessee," he said, "just with playing SEC ball and everything."

He's not completely set on playing in that conference, but that was definitely a plus for the Volunteers. The 5-foot-11, 210-pound prospect also said Pitt was near the top of his list because it's his hometown college.

As far as all the other schools? They're all basically equal at this point, he said.

"I've been talking to Penn State on Facebook and stuff and went to to a camp over the summer," he said. "So I built a relationship with them, and I figured they'd offer."

McKenzie was more surprised by offers from the Mountaineers and Badgers because he hasn't been in close contact with them. College coaches have been making their rounds through Washington -- OSU assistant Luke Fickell spoke with him several weeks ago -- but West Virginia and Wisconsin haven't really had a presence.

That figures to change in the coming weeks. For now, McKenzie just wants to take his time with the recruiting process and try his best to enjoy it.

He doesn't plan to make a decision in the near future. And, if he's invited to an all-star game, he said he'd prefer to make his announcement there.

"It's all about finding the best fit," he said. "I have to have a good relationship with the coaches. I want to look into the education. And, I feel I'm going to be a top prospect, so I don't want to go somewhere where a team just tells me what I want to hear. I want to go somewhere where a team needs me."