Back in March, Washington, Pa. three-star (according to 247sports) running back Shai Mckenzie had indicated that he had a list of roughly 15 schools that he was interested in. He also made it known that he would eventually trim that list down significantly at a point in the near future. Well, today was that near future. Mckenzie indeed did dwindle that list down. And, the two teams at the top of that list stand out, and will also have the opportunity to impress the young man on a pretty big stage in a little over two months.
— Shai Mckenzie (@ShaiMcKenzie_) June 14, 2013
The Florida State Seminoles and the nearby Pittsburgh Panthers are sitting right at the top of that list. This is significant because those two programs open up their seasons against one another this upcoming Labor Day at Heinz Field–again right in Mckenzie’s backyard.
It’s really more significant for the Panthers than it is the Seminoles. Florida State has had no issues with recruiting whatsoever recently and, to be honest, I’m not completely certain that Jimbo Fisher‘s heart would be completely broken, should Mckenzie decide not to attend FSU.
Pitt, on the other hand, would consider landing the home-grown talent a major victory in their rebuilding process. A competitive effort against the ‘Noles on Labor Day night, or the best-case scenario of pulling off the upset, could go a long way in convincing the 5-11 running back to stay in western Pennsylvania. Nonetheless, the Panthers sitting near the top of the heap is a very good sign as to how athletes are viewing the Pitt program, despite all of the shortfalls recently.
As far as the other ACC schools on that list, you can never, ever count out the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets when it comes to a running back, and the Virginia Tech Hokies are looking for any kind of recruiting victory lately–especially after losing top QB prospect David Cornwell to the Alabama Crimson Tide earlier this afternoon.
But in the end, Pitt certainly may be in the driver’s seat when it comes to Mckenzie’s recruitment. But, as even Mckenzie said himself, things can change between now and Feb. 5.