Hokies Running Back Shai McKenzie Will Transfer


Rising redshirt-junior running back Shai McKenzie will transfer from Virginia Tech.

Virginia Tech running back Shai McKenzie will not return to the program, and plans on transferring after graduating this summer, the rising redshirt-junior announced on Twitter on Thursday evening.

McKenzie’s career at Virginia Tech will always be remembered for what could have been. McKenzie entered into the fold as a true freshman in 2014, becoming a valuable member of a three-headed monster at running back consisting of Marshawn Williams, J.C. Coleman, and himself.

The Washington, Pennsylvania native McKenzie rushed for 269 yards in five games that season, before suffering a torn right ACL in the Hokies’ 35-17 win that season.

McKenzie was able to fully recover in time to play in the 2015 season, but re-injured his knee during an eight carry, 26-yard performance in a 51-24 victory over Purdue. McKenzie applied for a medical redshirt after missing most of 2015, which was ultimately granted to him by the NCAA.

This past season, as a redshirt-sophomore, McKenzie was used primarily on special teams, as he struggled to break into the rotation at running back. He finished the 2016-17 campaign with 76 yards rushing and a touchdown, but did not record a carry after the North Carolina game on October 8th.

Last month, rumors began to circulate regarding McKenzie’s status with the program moving forward, as there were rumblings that he was seeking a transfer opportunity elsewhere.  A Twitter exchange prior to the bowl game only further fueled the speculation, as Justin Fuente was asked in a Belk Bowl press conference about Shai McKenzie’s injury status:

McKenzie had been fighting an upper extremity injury, but must have felt healthy enough to play, or at the very least, was in disagreement with the staff and trainers about his health status. In a tweet responding to Andy Bitter, which has since been deleted, McKenzie responded:

"@AndyBitterVT been healthy the past year & half. You’ll have a story to write very soon."

That story of course, comes to fruition now with the long-rumored transfer for McKenzie. Since he will graduate this summer from Virginia Tech, he will be able to play immediately at his next school, and will have two years of eligibility remaining.

Best of luck to Shai McKenzie moving forward.