As Pittsburgh Sports Now has been reporting on since joining the Pitt football staff, Brennan Marion has made a huge push to extend the Panthers recruiting map out to the West Coast.
Over the last few weeks, Pitt has extended offers to 20+ freshman, sophomores and juniors in California and have even ventured into the state of Utah. In fact, a few days after offering 2022 3-star wide receiver Dominique McKenzie, they have offered his twin brother Marcus.
Marcus McKenzie is a 3-star athlete from Saint George, Utah and holds offers from BYU, Colorado State, Princeton, UNLV and Utah State. The offer from Pitt is the first Power Five offer both the McKenzie brothers.
One common theme with the players that Marion is offering is that they’re multi-sport athletes that posses tremendous speed. The McKenzie brothers fit that description as they not only excel in football but are also track stars at Pine View High School.
Pittsburgh Sports Now spoke with Marcus over the weekend about the Pitt offer and getting the chance to play with his brother on a big stage in the ACC conference.
“To be honest, I was a little bit surprised when Coach offered me,” said McKenzie. “But, once we kept talking more I guess I figured out that an offer was coming. I’m just super grateful that Coach reached out to talk to me and offered but yeah, I was surprised.”
“A big thing that coach said was that he talked about my speed and that speed is a big thing that he was looking for. He said that my brother and I have that and that we could be a big part of what he’s trying to do and bring to Pitt.”
McKenzie is a true athlete and is skilled enough that he’s capable of playing either wide receiver or cornerback in college. While Pitt is recruiting his brother to play wide receiver, I asked Marcus where Pitt is looking for him to play.
“Coach talked to me and said that as a receiver he likes me but also sent my film to the defensive back coaches and they really liked the film also,” said McKenzie. “To me, it really seems liked it was open to either but Coach Marion is the receivers coach so I think he’s kind of pushing me as a receiver.”
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“As a cornerback, I’ve been playing that position for a while and really enjoy that. It’s a good experience to be able to close the distance to a receiver with my speed. On offense, my speed is a big part of what I do as I’m able to create separation between the defender and me. In my high school offense, they use me to go deep but also get me the ball on short routes that allow me to get yards after the catch. Either way, I try and score every time I touch the ball.”
Marcus credits their speed to working with their father along with running track since they’ve been seven years old. Speaking of his brother Dominique, I asked what it meant to him to get an offer from Pitt which would give him a chance to play with him in college.
“He was super happy when I got it and I was obviously happy as well,” said McKenzie. “Going to the same school as my brother would be awesome. Doing that is something we’ve talked about. Going to the same school would be nice but if we had to go to separate schools, it would be ok. Pitt is an amazing school and for us both to get a chance to go there, we were super grateful.”