Kenzy Paul arrived at McCallie last August hungry to pursue his college football dreams. Less than a year later the Montreal, Quebec native accomplished a major goal as the receiver announced his commitment to the Vanderbilt University on his Twitter page.
Paul was an instant hit with the Blue Tornado and a key to the program's second straight Division II-AAA state championship last fall. The 6-foot-1, 193-pounder starred on both sides of the ball and had four tackles, a pass break up and one of McCallie's five interceptions in a 44-0 rout of MUS in the title game.
Ranked as the state's No. 31 overall prospect for the Class of 2022 by 247sports.com, the dynamic athlete believes Nashville is the best destination for his college future. Paul chose Vanderbilt over offers from Duke, Cincinnati, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Michigan State, Missouri, Ole Miss, Penn State, Syracuse, Tennessee, Toledo, Tulane, UCF, Virginia and Virginia Tech.
"My relationship with the coaches at Vanderbilt is really great," said Paul, a 3-star prospect. "(Vanderbilt's new head coach) Clark Lea and the program has a strong vision. The high education level definitely also stood out to me along with the chance to be playing against the best players in the country every weekend. I love to compete and I want to prove myself and help Vandy win games."
Paul's physical presence on the football field stands out along with his ability to adjust mid-air to make catches or knock passes away.
"I fell in love with the game at six years old," Paul said. "I have always looked for challenges and play my heart out when I am on the field. My goal for my senior year is to have at least five interceptions, three forced fumbles and for my team to win every game and get a third ring. Last year was a lot of fun and we want to add more history."
Paul finished last season with 25 tackles, three more for loss, eight pass deflections and three interceptions. In seven of McCallie's eight wins he recorded a reception, and it was in those games that he did most of his damage offensively, totaling 18 catches for 306 yards and all four of his touchdowns.
With hopes to be a role model for other Canadian kids who love football, Paul is excited about the future.
"I want to thank God for all the blessings, my family for their continuous support and all of my coaches," Paul said in a tweet. "Also I want to thank all of my supporters."
Contact Patrick MacCoon at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @PMacCoon.