The big news out of Washington this afternoon is obviously the fact that the school board overturned a previous decision to support transfer Zach Blystone and prevent him from playing tonight against Mt. Pleasant.
But I also found out that Prexies running back Shai McKenzie started an accelerated learning program this week that will enable him to graduate from Washington early and enroll in college for the second semester.
McKenzie tore the ACL in his right knee during a 66-10 win over Charleroi in Week 3. He was not hit; he tried to plant and make a cut in the second quarter. McKenzie had 195 yards and three touchdowns in that game and finished with 650 and 11 for the year.
McKenzie led the WPIAL with 2,689 yards and 41 touchdowns last season, averaging 37.4 yards per touchdown.
“With the injury, it was a setback for him,” Washington coach Mike Bosnic said. “But it also presented the opportunity for him to explore other options and get a head start on his academic career. To get to whatever school he’s going to choose and be able to get that world-class training and rehab on his knee was important.”
This will obviously force McKenzie to pick a school sooner than he had anticipated — or hoped, considering McKenzie and his father, Sean, had insisted for months that they would drag this on as long as possible.
McKenzie has 30 Division I offers: Akron; Arkansas; Arizona; Boston College; Connecticut; Duke; Florida State; Georgia; Georgia Tech; Indiana; Maryland; Michigan; Michigan State; Minnesota; North Carolina; Northwestern; Oklahoma; Penn State; Pitt; Purdue; Rutgers; South Carolina; Tennessee; Toledo; Vanderbilt; Virginia; Virginia Tech; West Virginia; Wisconsin; and Youngstown State.
Here’s his top five: Pitt, Virginia Tech, North Carolina (late replacement for Arkansas), Florida State and Georgia Tech.
— Jason Mackey