Wake Forest High defensive lineman Jaden McKenzie picks Ohio State
Wake Forest defensive tackle Jaden McKenzie announced on Wednesday that he will be signing with Ohio State University.
McKenzie (6-3, 280) picked Ohio State over UNC and Wake Forest. McKenzie took an official visit to Columbus for the Ohio State-Michigan game in late November and that visit is what won him over.
“That last visit, I loved all the coaches, the atmosphere, just everything about it,” McKenzie said. “I fell in love with it.”
McKenzie felt like he wasn’t a top priority for the Buckeyes early on during the recruitment process, but after meeting with defensive line coach Larry Johnson during his visit and follow up visits the last few weeks, all that change.
“Coach Johnson was constantly contacting me, asking me how I was doing,” McKenzie said. “I just liked the fact that he was actually contacting me. I didn’t know their interest before that visit, but when I went on that visit we had a chance to sit down and talk and I felt like he really wanted me and I loved that.”
During his senior season McKenzie finished with 77 tackles and 10.5 sacks. He leaves Wake Forest with 247 tackles and 28.5 five sacks in four varsity seasons. McKenzie was part of a Cougars’ team that won three straight 4AA championships.
“Today is a special day, it is the biggest decision I have ever made,” McKenzie said. “This is a crazy feeling. I’ve never felt anything like this before.”
The three-star prospect was the No. 40 player in North Carolina and the No. 58 defensive tackle in the nation according to 247Sports. After his senior campaign, McKenzie was selected to the North Carolina Shrine Bowl team, but was unable to participate because his high school team played for the 4AA state title, which they won, 9-7, over Vance, giving McKenzie and the Cougars a third straight state championship.