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Thursday, June 13, 2013
Two teams safely in McKenzie's top group

By Jared Shanker

Washington (Pa.) High running back Shai McKenzie cut his list of more than 30 offers in half three months ago. He will cut in half once again soon.

Following visits to Florida State and Georgia Tech, McKenzie is ready to cut his list to seven schools. He will spend Friday formulating his list and then he will release his top seven Saturday evening.

The Seminoles, which are among the schools recruiting The Opening invitee the hardest, will not be on the chopping block. McKenzie said in May that Florida State would likely make the next cut, and he confirmed FSU will be in his top seven upon returning to Pennsylvania on Thursday.

“They will make the next cut of seven,” McKenzie said.

The 5-foot-11, 215-pound running back spent the last week visiting Florida State and Georgia Tech and visiting his mother, who lives in Georgia.

The Seminoles showed McKenzie around Tallahassee, and he could not have envisioned a better trip.

“I saw just about everything,” he said. “I saw the campus, dorms and basically ate and chatted with all of the coaches.”

Florida State is recruiting a bigger-sized tailback in the 2014 class and have also offered fellow Mid-Atlantic back Gerald Owens. The Florida State coaches told McKenzie he is a priority at the position, though.

“Basically how I’m their No. 1 back and how they really think I can make an impact right away,” McKenzie said the coaches told him.

Georgia Tech’s mixture of academics, coaching staff and facilities has them safe in the top seven, too. Although the triple option is a dying breed at the major college football level, McKenzie said he is a strong understanding of the offense from previous high school seasons.

“It’s a good offense [and] from what the staff thinks I’d be a ‘B’ back,” he said, “but the offense is no different than [what] my high school used to run two years ago, which I was a part of.”

McKenzie said no other schools are guaranteed a spot in his top seven as of yet.