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Gorman: McKenzie matures into national recruit

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Sunday, March 10, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Mike Bosnic might be a bit overwhelmed by the way Shai McKenzie's recruitment has picked up.

The Washington tailback has matured from WPIAL star to national recruit, with the latest of his 28 scholarship offers coming from Florida State, Georgia, North Carolina and Oklahoma.

“Those are some of the best colleges in the nation,” said Bosnic, Wash High's football coach. “It's been crazy, non-stop schools calling. We had Bill O'Brien, Paul Chryst and Brady Hoke walking through the school. It's fun. It's something that doesn't happen very often, but it's a lot of work.”

McKenzie rushed for 2,689 yards and 42 touchdowns to lead the Little Prexies to the WPIAL Class AA final as a junior. McKenzie has the ideal combination of size, speed and power that colleges covet, not to mention a 3.5 grade-point average.

It's no wonder he already has so many offers.

“I never really realized the quality of the schools that would be coming, the high-profile schools offering him so early,” Bosnic said.

“There's not a lot of guys out there with the size to go with the speed and the good grades, so it's kind of a no-brainer to offer him. But I've been surprised by the prestigious programs coming in to recruit him.”

Then again, Bosnic's not surprised at all.

“He's 6-foot, 213 pounds and runs a sub-4.4 40,” said Bosnic, who played offensive tackle at Pitt. “I've been around a little bit here, played college football, and there's only one or two guys I've seen with that explosive speed. The thing about Shai is he could easily be 230 someday and still have a lean, athletic build.

“To have that size and be able to move like that, there's not too many guys in America that have that combination. I think when he goes to school and gets into a strength-and-speed program where he's devoting the time and is taught the technique, I think he could be a 4.2 guy. It sounds crazy, but he's running legit, laser-time 4.4s.”

Bosnic is being careful to ensure McKenzie doesn't get overwhelmed by recruiting.

“He's a young kid. I don't want him to feel pressured, but I've already sat down with him a couple times to make sure he realizes that none of this is guaranteed,” Bosnic said. “This is wonderful, what's been happening here. There's a lot of buzz around him, the town and the school. It's brought a great deal of pride, but he realizes he's got a long way to go, a lot of work to do, and anything can happen.”

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