January 17, 2014 // Recruiting

Isaiah McKenzie Will Visit Notre Dame

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Isaiah McKenzie - Notre Dame Recruiting Target

Team Nitro wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie (9) runs with the ball during the second half at Tropicana Field. Team Highlight defeated the Team Nitro 31-21. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Isaiah McKenzie will be officially visiting Notre Dame the weekend of January 31st according to multiple reports last night giving Notre Dame recruiting some much needed positive momentum as the Irish head down the final stretch of the class of 2014.

Isaiah McKenzie wanted to commit to Notre Dame back in the fall but he had not at that point cleared some academic hurdles that needed to be cleared.  Last week reports surfaced that it looked as though those hurdles would be passed by McKenzie, but instead of that news being a huge boost for Notre Dame it was immediately followed by news that McKenzie no longer considered himself committed to Notre Dame and was opening his recruiting back up.

That wasn’t the news Notre Dame fans were hopeful for after a dreadful string of news last week that saw Matt Dickerson decommit to Notre Dame, George Atkinson declare for the NFL draft, Davaris Daniels suspended for the spring semester, and then Troy Niklas unexpectedly declare for the NFL Draft as well.

It looks like things could be started to swing back in Notre Dame’s favor though with the recruitment of McKenzie.   The speedy wide receiver/returnman set up all of his visits this week with Notre Dame getting the last word.  McKenzie will visit Florida this weekend, Ole Miss the following weekend, and then Notre Dame the last weekend of January just days before National Signing Day.

Securing a commitment from McKenzie either on his visit or on Signing Day would be a huge pickup for Brian Kelly and Notre Dame.  Anyone who watched the Under Armour All-American bowl saw that McKenzie is an electric returnman – something Notre Dame has been sorely missing over the last few years.  He’s got the talent to step in an be a factor in the return game very early in his career and possesses the kind of explosiveness that simply cannot be taught.

Right now Notre Dame does not have any other official visitors scheduled for that weekend, but that could certainly change as Notre Dame is making a series push to land another defensive lineman in the class in the wake of Dickerson’s decommitment.  Even if McKenzie is the lone visitor that weekend though, Notre Dame will have the chance to add a big time playmaker to the #GoldenArmy14.

Isaiah McKenzie Highlights

Comments to this Article

  • fxm commented on January 17th, 2014 at 12:10 am

    Wow, beyond fast, he looks strong and has extraordinary vision.

    [Reply]

  • leitz5 commented on January 17th, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    He is a fun player to watch. Hopefully he eill be wearing the Under Armour Blue & Gold next year.

    [Reply]

  • George commented on January 17th, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    Sounds like ND likely blew it with this guy. This is a perfect example of why ND will always be mediocre. They need to stick with these kinds of recruits and do what it takes to land them, as opposed to turning their backs until the kid walks the line. If ND wants to be a team of bookworms, then FINE. Join the Ivy League and stop wasting my time.

    [Reply]

    Mike replied on January 17th, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    There is no reason to expect a university to not have requirements of its players academically. You support an institution that actually holds its players to a standard. It’s not semi-pro, its a university. And for the kids who actively have hurdles to clear, it usually points to real academic struggles that keep them from being college ready. If you want a win at all cost strategy that sacrifices academics for football, you should probably pick a different team.

    [Reply]

    jim g replied on January 18th, 2014 at 11:59 am

    He had not yet qualified academically.N.D. is not some sec school, where they could care less

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    Dan replied on January 19th, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    If you want to admit everyone, become a fan of the SEC–not the greatest University in the world, when all things are considered.

    [Reply]

    Rob replied on January 20th, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    It really wasn’t a case of ND dropping the ball. He had not even cleared the NCAA Clearinghouse and was not cleared to play for any school. It looks like he has really worked hard and will likely be able to qualify for not only most universities but probably ND as well now. ND doesn’t want another Tee Shepard incident. He couldn’t clear for any school either but ND took a chance and we got burned when he didn’t score high enough to be an early enrollee. Probably wouldn’t have been a big deal if he was enrolling in the Fall because he could have taken the test again but he was an EE so that is why he was not allowed to enroll. If we land McKenzie, that will be a huge pickup. He is the kind of explosive player that can really turn things around for our special teams and could be a really good scatback or even slot receiver.

    [Reply]

  • duranko commented on January 17th, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    Well, it’s time for a little Alford magic. Something happens when Tony looks into the eyes of young men. Maybe it’s authenticity, honesty, because when he tells the kid he’s interested in them as more than a football player he MEANS IT. remember the timing of the Lynch saga.

    Alford got it done then.

    This was an unusual recruitment in that both sides wanted to get it done.
    But McKenzie had to qualify.

    [Reply]

  • James commented on January 27th, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    I hardly consider Atkinson leaving to be bad news for ND. The kid was looking at being 5th on the depth chart anyway.

    [Reply]

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