Ex-Vandy player now at Alcorn St.

Alcorn State coach Jay Hopson said former Vanderbilt player

Jaborian “Tip” McKenzie is playing football for the Braves because

he believes the freshman is “100 percent innocent” of the rape

charges he faces in Nashville, Tenn.

McKenzie, 19, and three other former Vanderbilt players are

charged with raping an unconscious Vanderbilt student at a campus

dormitory in June. The four were dismissed from the university June


“If I ever find anything or if I can get any proof that he is

guilty, he will be suspended from our football team,” Hopson told

The Associated Press on Thursday. “From everything I’ve gotten,

from every resource, this kid is 100 percent innocent.”

McKenzie, who is from Woodville, Miss., returned three kickoffs

for 80 yards against Mississippi State last weekend in a 51-7


The story of McKenzie playing at Alcorn State was first reported

by The Nashville Post.

Hopson said he is aware that McKenzie had an Oct. 16 court date

in Nashville for discussions in the case. The coach said he cleared

McKenzie’s arrival with the school’s athletic director and


Hopson, who declined to make McKenzie available for an interview

with the AP, said the player enrolled at the school a couple of

weeks ago.

“We’ll just let the process take care of itself,” Hopson said.

“And let the whole world figure out that this kid, from everything

that I know, that this kid did absolutely nothing. So like I said,

if somebody can tell me or show me where he did something, then I

may sing a different song. But right now, from everything I know,

everything that’s been shown to me through numerous phone calls and

talking to many people involved in this case, I can’t find anything

that says this kid is guilty.”

McKenzie was indicted Aug. 9 on five counts of aggravated rape

along with Cory Batey, 19 of Nashville, Tenn.; defensive back

Brandon Banks, 19, of Brandywine, Md.; and tight end Brandon

Vandenburg, 20, of Indio, Calif., along with two counts of

aggravated sexual battery.

According to Nashville police, the four men are charged with

raping the unconscious woman inside Vandenburg’s room at Gillette

House dormitory early on June 23. University officials checking the

dorm’s surveillance in the hallways on an unrelated matter noticed

the four’s behavior and notified the Vanderbilt University Police

Department the night of June 25. Campus police contacted

Nashville’s sex crimes unit June 26.

None of the four played a snap for Vanderbilt last season with

McKenzie redshirting in 2012. But the 5-foot-8 receiver had four

catches for 83 yards in the Commodores’ spring game — the most

yards receiving in the game.

McKenzie was released from jail Aug. 10 after posting $50,000

bond, the lowest bail set for any of the four men.