Jump to content
Aviator12

Is prodigy Josh McKenzie on a Spencer Lee's level as a wrestler?

Recommended Posts

For anyone who isn't familiar with this kid, read this first...

 

http://www.nj.com/sports/index.ssf/2015/09/the_engineering_of_15_year_old_josh_mckenzie.html

 

He's already making a major impact on the football field starting at safety and splitting time in the backfield as a freshman for Bergen

Catholic. Here's an article where starting QB and top rated Tennessee commit Jarrett Guarantano just raves about him from a football perspective.

 

http://highschoolsports.nj.com/news/article/-7546464758531618949/new-normal-freshman-josh-mckenzie-makes-early-impact-at-bergen-catholic/

 

I'm interested in hearing the wrestling community here's thoughts or inside info with this kid and if the hype is what it seems... Which would be pretty remarkable considering....

 

Kid I believe has football as top priority which probably keeps him up a weight class or two versus he only concentrating on wrestling. In the article, you'll notice mention of he not losing his last match since Halley's Comet and others say he is already by far the best in his country at his weight.

 

It's not that I find any of this hard to believe, I just haven't really heard of this hype on a place like this which would obviously corroborate it's legitimacy.

 

Anyone?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Without question. When I read it, I wasn't sure if the 'uncle' here saved McKenzie and his brother from deplorable conditions and brought them in to stability, or he simply acquired lab rats through the state right within his own family. Looks like both, maybe?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wish him the best, but this whole thing has a Todd Marinovich feel to it.

I have to admit, I sort of chuckled when I saw your screen name, as I'm as big of a Buckeye fan/homer you can find.

 

Relative to this thread, my OSU fandom immediately came to mind after reading about this kid. Although most 14 year olds think they can/will play two sports at the division 1 level, and although most find out sometime their senior year by the latest it's just not realistic nor rarely occurs, I think McKenzie may truly feel (and hell may even possibly be) an exception to this norm and be able to do so.

 

Without going into an obvious fit wrestling wise at OSU and it's program (same as Penn State, Iowa, and the like similar) McKenzie could play in Urban Meyer's system even despite not growing another inch, if he's as dynamic as people intend he to be.

 

Not only does Urban, and every coach for that matter, LOVE kids so invested in excellence as is McKenzie apparently... Urban has a long history of playmakers small in stature, large in speed and playmaking ability. He ,even if he stayed 5'9, could definitely find a role offensively out in space with their spread offense, OSU was the place where a pretty special 5'9 CB came from, that being Antoine Winfield.

 

A last, worthless point in a future potential marriage here between this kid and playing both sports at OSU is the relationship in place between Meyer and Tom Ryan In place, which would be essential in its prospects success. In fact, on a much smaller scale and before the recent tragedy of Kosta Karogeorge, he was an example of a kid who played both sports with both coach's consent.

 

If this kid pans out the way he expects, and you were his guardian, what battery of wrestling/football head coaches would intrigue you in sending this kid to the next level. Can anyone name one which would rival Tom Ryan and Urban Meyer?

 

It's discussed all the time who people consider the best duo of college basketball and head football coaches at prospective schools are ... Who are the better head wrestling and football coach tandems out there?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wish him the best, but this whole thing has a Todd Marinovich feel to it.

 

Had a similar thought.

 

Obviously head and shoulders above his peers, but waaaay too early to be projecting what kind of success he'll have as a FB star or wrestler. Having thousand$$$$ spent on his training, 10 personal trainers, holding him back a grade, and being groomed for stardom as an 8th grader... not exactly your average kid. Burnout, injuries, other kids catching up in physical maturity... lots of factors can potentially come into play. 

 

He may be the next big thing... or not. It would be interesting to see a followup when he is 18 years old.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You never hear a whole lot about guys like Lee Kemp and Mark Schultz who went from zero to world class in five years with three NCAA titles along the way. Imagine if either of those guys had a Marinovich-type dad. Hard to picture them doing any better but had they done just as well it would have served as evidence that this type of thing works. If it drove them away from the sport we would have heard very little unless they blew up spectacularly like TM. My point is that despite all the cases of over-parenting the athlete to success we don't really know how much value it adds because we don't hear much about all the cases where it doesn't work. For my life I think the massive parental involvement is a big negative all things considered.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree. The "over-parenting" has benefits at the lower levels but as time progresses the more gifted/determined athletes that start later will surpass these kids. We see it time and time again. You simply cant coach athleticism and personal drive to succeed. Either they got it or they don't. 

Edited by Flying-Tiger

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Marinovich himself is a spectacular case of over-parenting gone wrong.  His father drove all desire out of him -- and not just the desire to play football.  Really sad what became of his life.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Odds are against any given individual of playing a professional sport. The NFL just finished making roster cuts, and the list of rejected players is full of talented athletes. If he gets a scholarship and education out of this, then great. I highly doubt he will ever play professionally.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Parenting is always a fine line. 

An interesting thing about wrestling and combat sports in general  is that many of the really successful ones come from a broken home or a dysfunctional relationship with their parent.   I'd take a dysfunctional parent like Marv Marinovich over one that doesn't care any day of the week.  Todd Marinovich graduated from a great school -- he is now an artist, so he must have learned something.  He was a first round draft pick.  He was very successful at that point in his young adult life.  He also became very unsuccessful, but his adult behavior is not his parents responsibility.

"Childhood is what we spend the rest of our lives trying to overcome"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When a certain Ohio wrestler was going for his 4th state title (won sectionals), he didn't show up for district weigh-ins. He had had enough and quit. A subsequent interview with him, a year or two later, was published in a Toledo newspaper, in which he discussed the "family" difficulties underlying his story.

 

What struck me, was how is was CRUCIFIED on the Ohio forums by fans, some in long detailed argumentative posts. Those of us who tried to defend him (we could see the clues leading up to his decision) were brushed aside in the onslaught. Family issues were the critical issue, of course, but I will never forget the brutal reaction of some of the wrestling fans.

Edited by LkwdSteve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When a certain Ohio wrestler was going for his 4th state title (won sectionals), he didn't show up for district weigh-ins. He had had enough and quit. A subsequent interview with him, a year or two later, was published in a Toledo newspaper, in which he discussed the "family" difficulties underlying his story.

 

What struck me, was how is was CRUCIFIED on the Ohio forums by fans, some in long detailed argumentative posts. Those of us who tried to defend him (we could see the clues leading up to his decision) were brushed aside in the onslaught. Family issues were the critical issue, of course, but I will never forget the brutal reaction of some of the wrestling fans.

That was ugly. I stopped following those forums right about then, and having moved out of state, I stopped being a fan of HS wrestling in part due to that incident. I don't know if all youth sports forums get that ugly, with the posters having some personal stake in it, but when the conversations are about kids, and the adults (even a site admin in that case) devolve into mean, childish language, well, it's no wonder cyber-bullying is a hot topic. It also fits into that argument about "Are wrestlers really fans of wrestling?"

A few dozen kids from a given state might go off to have some college success, but for the rest, isn't there something great about having been a wrestler? I like to think so. In that case, however, I wouldn't blame the guy for getting far away from the sport, and never contributing back. Our disappointment as "fans" led to resentful statements like, "then, you will never succeed at life". I hate to believe that anyone in his local communities treated him that way, but it wouldn't surprise me either. 

 

I don't care if people want to hold professional athletes to high standards, but even college kids should get a pass for being kids and learning about/being preoccupied with more than their performance in their sport. Shouldn't we want them to be great representatives of the sport by becoming great human beings who want to contribute back - I mean paramount to being great athletes? And if that sentiment has truth, then isn't it our community that shapes these young people?

 

FWIW, there are many examples in womens sports too, where they've been far more professionalized as children. Think tennis and gymnastics. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The thing about football is so much of it comes down to genetics and God-given abilities. There is no exercise that will make you taller (not even hanging by your feet, like it says in one of the articles) and not a lot you can do to develop elite speed if you don't already have some of it. Judging by his physique and lifting numbers, I am going to guess that he is pretty close to being physically mature and done growing. There's not a huge market for 5'9" football players unless you have elite speed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone who has been around wrestling long enough would have to admit, sadly, that often the wrestlers with crazy parents have success.  For all the deserved criticism of the Marinovich situation, Todd did become an NFL QB.  

Just because a number of highly successful athletes also happened to have super-involved parents doesn't mean that super-parents produce great athletes at a higher than normal-parents. Odds are that what matters most is talent and what you are seeing is super-talent being enhanced by super-parenting. But what you are not seeing is when super-parents destroy talent and drive. Sure, Todd was an NFL QB but he had talent and the question is with a more normal dad would he have had a more successful career overall?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...