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WR Isaiah McKenzie commits to Notre Dame

Oct 18, 2013, 10:16 PM EDT

Photo property of the Sun Sentinel Photo property of the Sun Sentinel

On the eve of the Irish’s biggest recruiting weekend of the year, Notre Dame received a commitment from their smallest recruit on the board. That’s not to say South Florida’s Isaiah McKenzie isn’t a recruit to get excited about. In fact, one look at his highlight tape and you see a playmaker that will likely do big things from the moment he steps on campus.

McKenzie made official a commitment many thought was just a formality when this Tweet came from American Heritage High School’s Athletics Twitter page:

The 5-foot-8, 165-pound McKenzie looks like a prototype slot receiver, a position the Irish have looked near and far to fill. While size is an obvious concern, it’s not hard to think of former West Virginia star and Rams first round draft pick Tavon Austin and think of ways the Irish could use McKenzie.

One concern that many are reporting is a qualified test score that allows McKenzie to officially have a commitable offer to Notre Dame. Multiple premium recruiting websites have talked about the delay in McKenzie’s official visit is because he’s waiting to hear back on a test he took in early October. The tweet coming from American Heritage’s Twitter account was reportedly because McKenzie announced his intention to come to Notre Dame during the pregame Senior Night presentation.

If the commitment becomes official, which most expect it to be, McKenzie becomes the third wide receiver in the recruiting class, joining Justin Brent and Corey Holmes. McKenzie had offers from Michigan, South Florida, Cincinnati, and West Virginia among others, but the Irish were always the front runners.

  1. NotreDan - Oct 18, 2013 at 10:48 PM

    Wes Welker anyone?

    • 4karmel4 - Oct 25, 2013 at 1:45 PM

      More like Tavon Austin. Wes Welker never was this fast. 4.65 is WW most noted 40 time. As far as in and out of cuts sure…I see that. As an athlete, this kid is on another level.

  2. mediocrebob - Oct 18, 2013 at 10:48 PM

    Excited about this kid. Comes from a good HS program that plays some pretty high level football if I’m not mistaken. Speed kills, and the Irish seem to continue to get faster. Go Irish.

    • aceinthehole12 - Oct 19, 2013 at 2:35 AM

      Just wait til Golson or Malik is at QB. Speed all around our offense moving forward.

    • 4karmel4 - Oct 25, 2013 at 1:47 PM

      The American Heritage schools all over FLA are putting out great talent. McKenzie and Sony Michel from this one and Greg Bryant from the other. They’re doing something right at AH.

  3. brothertrip - Oct 19, 2013 at 3:00 AM

    Wow, Speed is impressive as well has his balance. Fast enough to avoid a lot of wrap up tackles, excellent balance to keep his feet on shoulder hits

  4. 700levelvet - Oct 19, 2013 at 6:48 AM

    I bet he can’t wait to play in the Meineke Car Care Bowl for the next 4 years…

    • tony34343434 - Oct 19, 2013 at 12:56 PM

      he will graduate with from one of the best schools in the world in four years, no like the glorified community colleges that make up the SEC!

    • oleolehey - Oct 20, 2013 at 12:21 PM

      700 must be your SAT score

  5. nudeman - Oct 19, 2013 at 11:23 AM

    Glad to have this kid; looks electric.
    But here’s something to consider: Before the season there was endless frothing over who BK would put in the slot. Consensus was Carlisle was the obvious choice because of his speed, his “burst”, etc etc; but there was also talk of:

    Prosise who would bring a new dimension to the slot with his size
    Cam McDaniel with his good hands and all around ability
    Will Mahone who was supposedly looking great in practice in the slot

    The slot is all about “BOB”; back on back; a mismatch with a quick RB on a slower LB. So I had visions of all 4 of these guys catching a quick look pass and blowing the doors off a LB for a 46 yard gain. Have we seen ANY of that? I haven’t.

    1. Kelly doesn’t know how to actually design a play for the slot
    2. Because teams put 17 guys in the box (Thx TR) the slot is rendered irrelevant
    3. None of these guys can play the slot worth a damn

    IMO, if you look real closely, your answer is there between #1 and #3.

    • upthera44 - Oct 19, 2013 at 3:19 PM

      Why do teams stack the box against Rees again? I’ve heard this claim made several times but still don’t quite get it. You would think stacking the box would be against a run threat (which Rees is the antithesis of). Or, I guess, because you can’t throw long. Some people say Rees can’t throw long, but we have seen him have flashes of doing this well (bombs to Daniels against Purdue and Jones against ASU immediately come to mind)…so what’s the big schematic disadvantage that he presents here? It seems like teams should have to respect the long ball as much as with any average-to-above-average throwing qb.

      • nudeman - Oct 19, 2013 at 4:39 PM

        They stack the box because they WANT him to pass
        Because he stinks throwing the ball
        Pretty simple
        And one long pass completed in 4 years doesn’t scare anybody

  6. seanb20124 - Oct 19, 2013 at 12:08 PM

    5’8 165 is small, need to recruit Dez Bryant type builds

    • whiskeystraight - Oct 21, 2013 at 1:07 PM

      You mean like Justin Brent, Davaris Daniels, CJ Procise, Justin Ferguson (gone), James Onwualu, and Corey Robinson?

    • 4karmel4 - Oct 25, 2013 at 1:42 PM

      HUH? Not to mention what Whiskeystraight says below…lets not forget Michael Floyd, Maurice Stovall, Jeff Smardzjia, Duval Kamara, Robby Parris, John Goodman and Daniel Smith…all bigger than Dez Bryant.

      And I guess BK wouldn’t D’anthony Thomas, Tavon Austin, Travis Benjamin, or Jacoby Ford types at all running his offense…righhttt

  7. getsome99 - Oct 19, 2013 at 12:51 PM

    We’re talking about converting a bunch of skilled position players into slot receivers. As Atkinson has proven to us, there’s a learning curve for these former feature backs and DB’s to learn how to catch the ball. Same with Niklas learning how to play TE.

    Maybe there was some extra teaching time during the bye week that will pay off and we’ll see more screen passes in the next 6 games.

    We have enough history with what Kelly did with Theo Riddick to know that he’s capable of drawing up effective plays for this position. And the QB now is the same QB that had success throwing it to Riddick.

  8. getsome99 - Oct 19, 2013 at 12:56 PM

    TJ Jones is having a pretty good season in the slot.

    • nudeman - Oct 19, 2013 at 1:38 PM

      Huh? I don’t believe he lines up there all that much.

    • heartofgoldandblue - Oct 25, 2013 at 4:19 PM

      Yea TJ occasionally lines up in slot but predominantly an outside receiver

  9. goirishgo - Oct 19, 2013 at 1:10 PM

    I got spoiled by Riddick’s versatility. He made the movement between RB and slot very smoothly. Apparently it’s tougher than he made it look.

  10. getsome99 - Oct 19, 2013 at 1:43 PM

    Riddick was very good there. Dispels any notion that Kelly can’t coach it and Rees can’t make the throws.

  11. getsome99 - Oct 19, 2013 at 1:45 PM

    Maybe TJ should like up there more often. When he has, they’ve had success.

  12. getsome99 - Oct 19, 2013 at 1:59 PM


  13. whodabigdog - Oct 19, 2013 at 4:29 PM

    I’m at the game. Its. Sleeting or hailing or something. Great football weather!

  14. machine64red2 - Oct 23, 2013 at 9:29 AM

    Why has not posted his commitment?

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