The Hokies have had some freshmen who have come in and made a big impact immediately with Kendall Fuller, Brandon Facyson, and Jonathan McLaughlin being the latest examples of that this past season.
The Hokies also have had a tradition of having a great running game though the last couple of seasons have been rough. Last season, Trey Edmunds proved that he could be a part of the next wave of running backs that continued the tradition of great Virginia Tech running backs. Edmunds looks like he is going to be the beginning but another running back has the potential to join him as a big time running back very quickly.
Shai McKenzie entered Fall Practice with a lot of interest from Virginia Tech media and hardcore fans. McKenzie’s hype has only grown over the last two weeks and is clearly going to make an impact as a true freshman this fall. McKenzie once again proved to the coaches that he is a big time running back and is looking like he should be the Hokies’ number 2 running back.
McKenzie told the media that he had 7 carries for 66 yards and one touchdown with the touchdown which are some very good numbers. However, the bigger praise for McKenzie came from Frank Beamer.
#Hokies coach Frank Beamer on TB Shai McKenzie: “Very impressive in his 1st scrimmage. Runs hard, runs through people. He’s a tough guy.”
— Mike Barber (@RTD_MikeBarber) August 16, 2014
This is exceptional praise from Frank Beamer to give toward a freshman like McKenzie and is just the latest praise that McKenzie has received from one of the Beamers. McKenzie has the talent to soon be getting this kind of praise from people outside of Virginia Tech fans and media.
Shai McKenzie is a great all-around running back that is proving that his great high school numbers were not a fluke. McKenzie has the skills the either run over people between the tackles or the ability to use his speed on the outside to also make big plays. McKenzie has the combination of speed, strength, agility, and toughness that coaches love having at running back.
McKenzie has huge potential and definitely deserves to get playing time as the number 2 running back behind Trey Edmunds while also having the talent to push the redshirt sophomore running back some this fall.
Shai McKenzie is going to be a big time star in Blacksburg and his rise will start this fall behind another talented running back in Trey Edmunds. This duo of Edmunds and McKenzie are one of the most underrated duos of running backs in college football right now.