In what may have been the worst kept secret on the recruiting trail in 2014, Butch Jones and the Tennessee Volunteers officially added one of the best defensive tackles in the country to this year’s class as Concord, California’s Kahlil McKenzie committed to Tennessee Thursday night at The Opening – an invitation only football camp for elite high school players at Nike Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon.
McKenzie held offers from all of college football’s top programs including Alabama, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon and Southern Cal among others, but had whittled his schools down to a final-2 of Tennessee and Arizona before announcing his decision to play at his father’s alma mater.
Butch Jones kept with his theme of having a legacy recruit commit while at The Opening after having Dillon Bates do the same last season. Dillon’s father, Bill, and Kahlil’s father, Reggie, played together while at Tennessee in the early 80’s and now it appears their sons will do the same.
Kahlil’s commitment comes in the midst of his dominating performance in Oregon where he was being touted by most as the best defensive lineman in attendance. Throughout the week the 6-4, 341 pound McKenzie was routinely seen splitting double teams and shucking the nation’s best offensive linemen to the ground, something that will certainly excite fans in Knoxville.
Even unbiased observers like Bud Elliot of SBNation took notice of Kahlil’s performance this week:
Through two days, if I could sign any non-qb from @TheOpening2014, it would be Kahlil Mckenzie. That much body shouldn’t move like that.
— SB Nation Recruiting (@SBNRecruiting) July 9, 2014
McKenzie becomes the Vols’ 20th commit for the 2015 class and is, by most accounts, the Vols’ highest ranked player. After his performance in Oregon, don’t be surprised if McKenzie gets a bump in the rankings from all the major sites.