Football   

    21
    Malaefou MacKenzie
    Malaefou MacKenzie

    Class:
    RS Senior

    Hometown:
    Mission Viejo

    High School:
    Capistrano Valley

    Height / Weight:
    5-11 / 225

    Position:
    TB

    Birthdate:
    07/24/1979

    Experience:
    3V

    CAREER:
    In his career, MacKenzie has 939 rushing yards and 76 receptions-22nd on the all-time USC receiving chart-while starting 14 times.

    2002:
    MacKenzie, who was plagued by injuries throughout his USC career, was granted a rare sixth year of eligibility in 2002 by the NCAA. Because he was out of action for 2 seasons due to "medical or extraordinary circumstances," the NCAA allowed a year's extension of the normal 5-year eligibility "clock" (in which an athlete can compete 4 seasons within a 5-year period). The hard-running senior tailback played a key role in USC's offensive attack as a threat both running and catching the ball. He started USC's first 3 games of 2002 at tailback and then started at fullback for the final 7 contests. He was used often in 2-back sets and on passing downs. Overall in 2002 while appearing in all 13 games, he ran for 174 yards on 47 carries (3.7 avg.) with 2 TDs, caught 39 passes for 365 yards (9.4 avg.) with 7 TDs and had 2 tackles. His 7 receiving TDs are the most ever by a Trojan running back. He made 2002 All-Pac-10 honorable mention. He also won USC's Courage Award. He had arthroscopic surgery to remove debris in his right knee prior to 2002 spring practice (he missed some of spring drills while recuperating). He was invited to play in the 2003 East-West Shrine Game and Senior Bowl. In his first game since 2000, he started at tailback against Auburn and had a game-best 6 catches for 117 yards (the first 100-yard receiving game by a USC running back since Mike Garrett had 122 yards against California in 1964) as well as running for 33 yards on 10 tries. At Colorado, he broke several tackles while scoring on a 32-yard pass and a 14-yard run (he rushed for 35 yards on 10 carries and caught 2 passes for 38 yards overall). He had 12 yards on 6 rushes at Kansas State, 7 yards on 2 carries and 6 yards on 3 receptions against Oregon State and 4 catches for 53 yards (with a 15-yard scoring reception) at Washington State. Against California, he ran for 15 yards on 3 tries, caught 4 passes for 24 yards and had a tackle. He caught 2 passes for 12 yards (he started for the first time at fullback) against Washington, caught 6 passes for 43 yards (with a pair of 8-yard TDs) and ran 4 yards on 3 tries at Oregon, added 41 yards on 3 tries (with a 4-yard score) at Stanford and caught 3 passes for 5 yards versus Arizona State. At UCLA, he had 2 carries for 2 yards and 2 catches for 9 yards (with a 7-yard TD), then caught 4 passes for 30 yards (with 15 and 10 yards TDs) and ran 3 times for 6 yards against Notre Dame. Against Iowa in the Orange Bowl, he ran for 19 yards on 5 carries and caught a 5-yard pass.

    2001:
    MacKenzie was set to join with Sultan McCullough to give USC a potent 1-2 punch at tailback as a senior in 2001. But MacKenzie left the team in midseason without seeing action in

    2001:
    he missed USC's first 2 games with a right knee sprain, the third while attending his father's funeral in Western Samoa and the next 2 after re-spraining his knee in practice prior to the Stanford game. He then decided to go back to Western Samoa for the rest of the season.

    2000:
    MacKenzie served as the backup to Sultan McCullough at tailback as a junior in 2000. He played often in passing situations. He even started started the California and Notre Dame games. Overall in 2000 while appearing in all 12 games, he ran for 284 yards (second on the team) on 41 carries (6.9 avg.), caught 27 passes for 249 yards (9.2 avg.) and returned 4 kickoffs for 91 yards (22.8 avg.). His 27 receptions were the most by a Trojan running back since Rodney Sermons had 39 in 1996. He also made a tackle and forced a fumble on special teams (both at Oregon State). He ran for 28 yards on 9 tries at Oregon State, then had 47 rushing yards on 3 tries (including a 34-yarder) and caught 2 passes for 10 yards against Oregon. He had a career-long and USC season-long 69-yard non-scoring run the only time he ran the ball (he also caught a 10-yard pass) at Stanford; that long run won him USC's Jack Oakie "Rise and Shine" Award. He had 28 yards on 7 carries (plus 3 catches for 14 yards) as the starter against California. At UCLA, he came up with some big runs (51 yards on 4 carries) and catches (57 yards on 5 grabs), plus had a 29-yard kickoff return, then ran for 18 yards on 5 carries and caught 3 passes for 44 yards versus Notre Dame.

    1999:
    MacKenzie was a backup tailback as a sophomore in 1999. He appeared in 8 games, missing the San Diego State, Oregon, Oregon State and Arizona contests with a pulled left hamstring suffered in practice prior to the SDSU game. Overall in 1999, he gained 121 yards (third on USC) on 25 carries (4.8 avg.) and scored 3 TDs, and also caught 5 passes for 40 yards (8.0 avg.). He also made 1 tackle (versus Louisiana Tech). In the Hawaii opener, he scored short TDs while rushing for 25 yards on 8 carries. He had 71 yards on 8 tries against Louisiana Tech. He caught 3 passes for 21 yards against Arizona State. He was limited in 1999 spring drills while recuperating from a 1998 knee injury.

    1998:
    MacKenzie tore a left knee ligament in the Purdue opener and had season-ending surgery as a sophomore tailback in 1998. He gained 28 yards on 7 carries (4.0 avg.) in that Purdue game. Because of the early-season injury, he redshirted the 1998 season and sat out 1999 spring drills.

    1997:
    MacKenzie proved his precocious nature as a first-year freshman tailback in 1997. He started twice (against Arizona State and Oregon) to become just the third true freshman to start at tailback for USC (Scott Lockwood did so twice in 1987 and Charles White once in 1976). He served as a backup there the rest of the season and also played on some special teams. Overall while appearing in 9 games in 1997 (he missed the Stanford game with a bruised left shoulder and did not play against UCLA), he gained 332 yards (second on USC) on 96 carries (3.5 avg.) and ran for 3 TDs. He also caught 5 passes for 22 yards (4.4 avg.), returned a short kickoff 7 yards (at Notre Dame) and made a tackle on special teams (versus UNLV). He did all this while nagged much of the season with a sore foot arch and then a bruised shoulder. After rushing for just 24 yards on 17 carries in USC's first 3 games, he came of age against UNLV when starter LaVale Woods went down early in the game with an injury and MacKenzie finished with 104 yards and 2 TDs on 19 tries to become only the fifth USC first-year freshman to eclipse the century mark in rushing (the others were Delon Washington once in 1994, Ryan Knight twice in 1984, Michael Harper once in 1979 and Charles White 4 times in 1976). Then, against Arizona State in his first start, he gained 35 yards on 10 tries (a second-quarter shoulder injury slowed him the rest of the game). He led USC with 69 rushing yards on a career-high 20 carries off the bench at Notre Dame, then added 40 yards on 9 carries while starting versus Oregon. He came off the bench at Washington to get 20 yards on 9 carries. He did not play against Stanford because of a shoulder injury, but returned off the bench at Oregon State to gain 40 yards on 12 carries. He didn't see action against UCLA. Earlier in the season, MacKenzie scored his first USC touchdown against Washington State.

    HIGH SCHOOL:
    He was a 1996 Parade All-American, Super Prep All-American, Prep Star All-American, Schutt Sports All-American, USA Today All-USA honorable mention, Super Prep All-Farwest, Tacoma News Tribune Western 100, Prep Star Best in the West, Long Beach Press-Telegram Best of the Rest, Cal-Hi Sports All-State second team, All-CIF Southern Section first team, All-CIF Division I, and Orange County Register All-Orange County first team as a senior at Capistrano Valley High in Mission Viejo (Calif.). In 1996, he ran for 1,488 yards on 181 carries (8.2 avg.) with 17 TDs (including a 97-yarder). Against eventual prep national champion Mater Dei High, he rushed for 213 yards. Capistrano Valley was a CIF Division I quarterfinalist in 1996. A 3-year starter, he earned Cal-Hi Sports All-State Junior first team, Los Angeles Times All-Orange County second team and All-League honors as a 1995 junior and Cal-Hi Sports All-State Sophomore Super 25 and All-League notice as a 1994 sophomore. Capistrano Valley head coach Dave Brown was a 3-year (1970-72) letterman center at USC and played on Troy's 1972 national championship team. MacKenzie clocked 10.9 in the 100 meters for Capistrano Valley's track team.

    PERSONAL:
    He's a public policy and management major at USC. His first name, Malaefou, means "new-found land" or "a kind of paradise" in Samoan. He lived in Apia, Western Samoa until he was 9 years old. He played rugby as a youngster in Western Samoa. His personal trainer was ex-USC lineman Marv Marinovich (1959, 1961-62), the father of former USC quarterback Todd Marinovich (1989-90).

    MALAEFOU MacKENZIE ON:
    The competition at tailback: "Of course, we'd all like to be the guy. We all want the ball as much as possible. But more than that, we want to help the team win in any way we can." His running style: "I like to do both, run inside or outside, depending on the situation. If it's a third down and short yardage, I'll try and run over somebody. Whatever makes the opponent look bad." His 1998 torn knee ligament injury: "I just wanted to make a hard cut, go upfield, get some yardage. I thought I could break it because I saw a little seam. I guess I planted too hard and my leg gave way. It was just a freak accident?I broke down because I had never had an injury of that magnitude. My parents were like, 'Keep your head up. Keep your faith and the Lord will take care of you.'?Six weeks afterwards, I felt like a baby, to tell you the truth. I felt like I couldn't walk. My mind wouldn't function with my leg. I'd try to step, but it'd just give way?It was a really tough mentally, kind of a helpless feeling?It was really frustrating for me, but I tried to be patient. I didn't know if I would play football again, or even walk again. I had a lot of faith in God that he had a plan for me, whether it was rehabbing and coming back to football or not?Now, I thank the Lord every day for my health. I'm a lot stronger now in the mental stuff and the details of the game. I've learned a lot more about running, finding the opening and following blockers and that's the difference." Playing most of 1997 with nagging injuries: "It set me back mentally to have all the little nagging injuries. As a result, my confidence went down. I guess it wasn't meant to be my year." College versus high school football: "In college, the hole is going to close in a fraction of a second. In high school, it's going to stay open for a few seconds. I just have to adjust to it, because it's a different running style. Everything you do in college has to be up the field, because everyone is faster and stronger...I'm learning to stay low when I hit the hole and just explode through the hole." Rugby versus football: "I never knew what football was until I came to the United States. I used to think it was a wussy sport, compared to rugby. I'd tease my brother when he had it on TV. But I found out football is not a wussy sport. Both are physical, but I think rugby is more physical because there are no pads. But in football, people are bigger and stronger." His late brother, Hornell, who had Down Syndrome and died of a heart ailment at the age of 17 (when Malaefou was 10): "I wear a shirt with his picture and name on it. I used to wear it under my jersey, but now I only wear it before and after games. I don't want to ruin it. I carry a cross with his name on it and I play in his memory. He was a good kid, always so caring and loving. Always...Everything I do on the football field is for him. When I get ready for a game, I'll always tell myself, 'This is for you, brother.'"

    WHAT OTHERS SAY:
    Capistrano Valley High coach Dave Brown: "His cousin told me that he'd look at my 1972 national championship ring and say, 'I'm going to get one of those some day.'" His late father, Vernon: "He is obsessed with running and lifting weights. I told the USC strength coaches to try to get him to let up a little. When he was at home, I tried to tell him that he was overtraining. He was staying up until 1 or 2 in the morning. Everyone would be asleep, and he'd be pushing weights in the garage, out on the road doing wind sprints, tying a tire around him and dragging it. It was too much. You have to do a lot more than the average guys to make it, but I thought he was obsessed. I was worried, no doubt. I told the weight coaches at USC, 'I'd appreciate it if you can corral him.'"

    MACKENZIE'S STATS
    YEARTCBYDSAVGTDLGRECYDSAVGTDLG
    1997 (Fr.)... 963323.5 320 5 22 4.4 012
    1998 (So.)... 7 284.0 011 0 0 0.0 0 0
    1999 (So.)? 251214.8 330 5 40 8.0 016
    2000 (Jr.)? 412846.9 069 27249 9.2 033
    2002 (Sr.)? 471743.7 237 39365 9.4 737
    CAREER.......2169394.3 869 76676 8.9 737
    YEARKORYDSAVGTDLGTACLS/YDSDFLFR
    1997 (Fr.)... 1 7 7.0 0 7 1 0/0 0 0
    1998 (So.)... 0 0 0.0 0 0 1 0/0 0 0
    1999 (So.)? 0 0 0.0 0 0 1 0/0 0 0
    2000 (Jr.)? 4 9122.8 029 1 0/0 0 0
    2002 (Sr.)? 0 0 0.0 0 0 2 0/0 0 0
    CAREER....... 5 9819.6 029 6 0/0 0 0
    GAME-BY-GAME WITH MALAEFOU MacKENZIE
    2002
    OPPONENTTCBYDSAVGTDLGRECYDSAVGTDLG
    Auburn* 10 333.3 016 611719.5 037
    Colorado* 10 353.5 114 2 3819.0 132
    Kansas State* 6 122.0 016 0 0 0.0 0 0
    Oregon State 2 73.5 0 4 3 6 2.0 0 4
    Wash. State 0 00.0 0 0 4 5313.3 129
    California 3 155.0 0 6 4 24 6.0 011
    Washington* 0 00.0 0 0 2 12 6.0 0 7
    Oregon* 3 41.3 0 5 6 43 7.2 211
    Stanford* 3 4113.7 137 2 2311.5 021
    Arizona State* 0 00.0 0 0 3 5 1.7 0 6
    UCLA* 2 21.0 0 3 2 9 4.5 1 7
    Notre Dame* 3 62.0 0 5 4 30 7.5 215
    Iowa*(Orange) 5 19 3.8 0 5 1 5 5.0 0 5
    2002 (Sr.)? 471743.7 237 39365 9.4 737
    2000
    OPPONENTTCBYDSAVGTDLGRECYDSAVGTDLG
    Penn State 3 8 2.7 0 3 1 6 6.0 0 6
    Colorado 0 0 0.0 0 0 2 16 8.0 011
    San Jose St. 3 21 7.0 012 3 14 4.7 013
    Oregon State 9 28 3.1 017 4 6817.0 033
    Arizona 3 4 1.3 0 4 1 2 2.0 0 2
    Oregon 3 4715.7 034 2 10 5.0 0 6
    Stanford 1 6969.0 069 1 1010.0 010
    California* 7 28 4.0 012 3 14 4.7 0 8
    Wash. State 3 10 3.3 0 4 2 8 4.0 0 6
    UCLA 4 5112.8 021 5 5711.4 019
    Notre Dame* 5 18 3.6 011 3 4414.7 017
    2000 (Jr.)? 41284 6.9 069 27249 9.2 033
    1999
    OPPONENTTCBYDSAVGTDLGRECYDSAVGTDLG
    Hawaii 8 25 3.1 3 8 0 0 0.0 0 0
    Notre Dame 2 8 4.0 0 7 0 0 0.0 0 0
    Stanford 1 2 2.0 0 2 0 0 0.0 0 0
    Arizona State 0 0 0.0 0 0 3 21 7.0 0 8
    Wash. State 4 9 2.3 0 5 1 3 3.0 0 3
    UCLA 2 6 3.0 0 6 1 1616.0 016
    La. Tech 8 71 8.9 030 0 0 0.0 0 0
    1999 (So.)? 25121 4.8 330 5 40 8.0 016
    1998
    OPPONENTTCBYDSAVGTDLG
    Purdue 7 284.0 011
    1998 (So.)... 7 284.0 011
    1997
    OPPONENTTCBYDSAVGTDLG RECYDSAVGTDLG
    Florida State 5 71.4 0 5 0 0 0.0 0 0
    Wash. St. 11 141.3 1 7 0 0 0.0 0 0
    California 1 33.0 0 3 0 0 0.0 0 0
    UNLV 191045.5 220 2 6 3.0 0 6
    Arizona State* 10 353.5 012 0 0 0.0 0 0
    Notre Dame 20 693.5 010 3 16 5.3 012
    Oregon* 9 404.4 013 0 0 0.0 0 0
    Washington 9 202.2 0 5 0 0 0.0 0 0
    Oregon State 12 403.3 0 7 0 0 0.0 0 0
    1997 (Fr.)... 963323.5 320 5 22 4.4 012
    *Starter