McKenzie headed to Vanderbilt

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, August 3, 2011

NATCHEZ — Trinity Episcopal stand out Tip McKenzie decided Tuesday morning that the appeal of playing in the Southeastern Conference was just too much for him and switched his commitment from Southern Mississippi to Vanderbilt.

McKenzie called the coaches of Vanderbilt and Southern Miss Tuesday morning to inform them of his decision, he said.

“I’ve been thinking about it for a couple of weeks, and I made my mind up (Tuesday) morning,” McKenzie said. “I called the coaches. (The Vanderbilt) coaches were very excited.”

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McKenzie said the Vanderbilt coaching staff made him feel very comfortable, and it is a great school where he can get a great education.

“A big part (of my decision) was my position coach (Chris Beatty),” McKenzie said. “We became really close, and I wanted to go play for him. He likes shorter wide receivers, and I think I can play for him.”

McKenzie said he wants to major in chemical engineering, and his father Shed McKenzie said that played a huge role in his switch as well.

“Really he wanted to major in engineering, and Vandy has one of the top engineering programs in the country,” Shed said. “Vandy was actually the first school to offer him, and he wanted to play in the SEC.

“Academically it is one of the top schools in America, and athletically he could go there and play early.”

Tip said he wanted to get his decision out of the way before his senior season at Trinity begins.

“I didn’t want to have stress during the season,” he said. “I just wanted to go ahead and get it out of the way. I’m pretty much finished with all this now.”