Washington running back keeps eye on Pitt
By Kevin Gorman
Published: Tuesday, April 2, 2013, 4:33 p.m.
When Pennsylvania prep career rushing leader Rushel Shell decided to transfer from Pitt, another WPIAL star tailback was paying close attention.
Washington's Shai McKenzie, one of the nation's most coveted prospects and Pitt's top target in the Class of 2014, called Shell's decision a “big surprise” but said the Panthers remain among his favorites.
“Him leaving is probably a disappointment to a lot of people but it could be better for me recruiting-wise and fit,” said McKenzie, who plans to visit Pitt this weekend. “They're the hometown team. I know I'm a priority, and Pitt is slim at the running back position so I know they're going to recruit me more.”
The 6-foot, 213-pound McKenzie rushed for 2,689 yards – the second-best single-season total in WPIAL history, only to Shell's 2,740 in 2009 – and 42 touchdowns last fall in leading Washington to the WPIAL Class AA final.
McKenzie recently narrowed his 31 scholarship offers to 15 schools. He said the Panthers, along with Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech and Tennessee, will make the next cut, too.
But McKenzie sees pros and cons in Shell's departure.
“Before he left, I was basically thinking that I could probably have a chance to split carries with him, if I went there my freshman year. Now that he's left, I probably would be the feature guy,” McKenzie said.
“It builds interest but it also makes me wonder what goes on down there, that a feature back from the WPIAL would leave the hometown school that he had his heart set on. What was behind the whole situation to make him leave quick like that?”
Kevin Gorman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @KGorman_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pitt aware of Carolina schools’ history in dominating ACC Tournament
- ACC Tournament manages to deliver an inherent history lesson
- Pitt looking to enhance profile at ACC tourney
- Wrestling programs look ahead to NCAA tourney
- Pitt’s oldest known living football letterman turns 100
- Pitt’s Patterson second-team All-ACC, Zanna honorable mention
- Former Pitt coach Majors in stable condition after heart procedure
- Altoona LB commits to Pitt for 2015
- Panthers Insider: Reeling Pitt faces must-win in Clemson
- With NCAA hopes on bubble, Pitt men treating Clemson as must-win
- Pitt rallies in final seconds of regulation en route to OT win at Clemson