Every coach hopes to pull in an immediate impact freshman and Tennessee Wesleyan College track and cross country Coach Shawn Jakubowksi believes he has done just that with McMinn County High School senior Logan McKenzie.
McKenzie signed with TWC on Tuesday, where he will run both cross country and be a distance runner on the track team where he will mainly run in the 800-meter, 1500-meter and 5K races.
"I think he can jump right into our top five," Jakubowksi said, who noted that he had been following McKenzie for one-and-a-half years. "Most freshmen start out as a No. 8 or 9 runner and in cross country only the top five scores count. But I think Logan can jump right into our top five and be a point scorer right away. We are really excited about his potential and we are happy to have him."
McKenzie said he picked Wesleyan for its solid track and cross country programs and because it is close to home.
"It's close to home and they have a great running program," McKenzie said about making TWC his college choice. "I think they will be a national power and they are really good right now. I know the program and a lot of the runners that are there, so it's not like I'm going to a college where I don't know what to expect."
McKenzie said signing his letter of intent Tuesday to attend Wesleyan means all the hard work, including running 50 to 60 miles a week, is worth it.
"Ever since I told them I was coming I've been super excited about it," McKenzie said. "Signing is like having a big weight taken off. I know where my future is, at least for the next four years."
McKenzie hopes that future includes being an All-American and a future participant in the Olympic trials. Former McMinn track and cross country Coach Tim Smith said McKenzie has the potential to reach both of those goals.
"I think he has a really, really high ceiling (of potential)," Smith said. "He has a chance to be one of the best to come through here - and we've had some good ones. He is a really good kid and he is a great student, he's as close to a can't-miss prospect as there is. I think he will represent Tennessee Wesleyan really well on and off the track."
McKenzie currently has an approximate grade-point average of 3.55 and plans a double major in sports management and physical therapy.