It was not quite a year ago when running back Shai McKenzie's football playing career took a bit of a detour.
On pace at Washington (Pa.) to set the high school rushing record in western Pennsylvania, McKenzie tore his right ACL in the third game of the season, On Sept. 13. After committing to Virginia Tech just before Christmas, McKenzie enrolled early and spent the spring rehabbing his knee with the Hokies.
Now, McKenzie has head coach Frank Beamer raving about him and has positioned himself to play immediately.
"I feel like I'm on my way," McKenzie said. "I'm not all the way just yet, but I've been practicing really good and the playbook's been fine, so I'm gonna get there."
If anything, McKenzie said there's some soreness in his opposite knee, from over-compensating a bit. He's also still getting used to making cuts.
"I favor my left knee a lot," McKenzie said. "I'm just a little bit scared to cut. When I'm doing routes, I tend to be choppy with me footsteps, but I need to get out of that and just know that everything's fine now. But I'm gonna get past that."
Looking back on it, McKenzie credits the spring he spent at Virginia Tech for getting him to this point. He still has a few weeks to prove he shouldn't be redshirted, but he's confident he can get there.
"It was a real good move because I knew the trainers here were real good and back home, they weren't real great," McKenzie said. "But it was an opportunity to get here early and get the playbook and everything down."
Below is McKenzie's full interview with the media this morning:
Click Here to view this video.