ATHENS — The social media and message board world around Georgia football has been aflutter with talk that Isaiah McKenzie, one of the team’s most dynamic players, will be taking his talents back to Miami. But is it actually true?
No, it is not.
“I’m staying in Athens with my boys,” McKenzie said Tuesday via text message.
The speculation appeared to begin on Monday after reports emerged that Miami head coach Mark Richt (who you might recall used to be Georgia’s coach) was hiring as cornerbacks coach Mike Rumph, who coached McKenzie and Sony Michel at Plantation American Heritage School.
Soon after a post attributed to McKenzie – but not confirmed to be his account – on SnapChat said: “I am officially transferring to Miami.” But it appeared to either be a fake account or just a joke by McKenzie. No one around the program knew anything about any plans to transfer.
“We are not aware of any request that has been made regarding a transfer at this time,” UGA spokesman Claude Felton said on Tuesday morning.
McKenzie was with the team during bowl week and played in the team’s win over Penn State.
Yes, McKenzie would have been returning to his hometown to play for both his high school coach and the man who coached him for two years at Georgia. But he would also have to sit out this year because of NCAA transfer rules, versus being able to play in 2016 as a junior on a Georgia team that loses its top receiver, Malcolm Mitchell.
Since joining the Bulldogs last year McKenzie has injected much-needed life into special teams, returning four punts for touchdowns, along with one kickoff. He had two punt return touchdowns this year, averaging 12.8 yards on all punt returns, and 10.5 yards on four kickoff returns.
McKenzie had 21 touches on offense this year: 11 runs for 117 yards and two touchdowns, and 10 catches for 123 yards.
A nagging hamstring injury has been a problem for McKenzie both years, but he finished this season healthy.
Here is a link to the supposed McKenzie social media post:
Isiah Mackenzies snapchat says he’s transferring to UM… 2 of his former coaches on staff now with Rumph & Richt pic.twitter.com/z1Wh4bs2e5
— Kyle Pumariega (@KylePuma) January 4, 2016