Tennessee’s defense, particularly the front seven, of the future has been a big point of excitement over the past few months with the emergence of star freshman Derek Barnett and an incoming class of defensive linemen that many are considering the best in the nation at that position.
Five-star defensive tackle Kahlil McKenzie, who Scout.com ranks as the No. 1 overall player in the nation, gave Tennessee fans a small preview of what the “Orange Swarm” defense of the future could look like via a picture from his official visit that he posted Friday night.
This picture features McKenzie, who is in on his visit, and newly-enrolled four-star defensive tackle Shy Tuttle and five-star defensive end Kyle Phillips on the defensive line. Enrollee Darrin Kirkland Jr. and official visitor Austin Smith are behind them at linebacker and freshman enrollee Stephen Griffin is lined up at safety.
Obviously these guys are just having some fun with their future teammates in this picture, but it’s also a reminder of what the Vols are building for the next few years on that side of the ball. The Vols’ front seven of the future is shaping up to be one of the most talented and deepest in the nation over the next few years, and a look that includes McKenzie, Tuttle, Barnett, Phillips, Kirkland Jr., Dillon Bates, Jalen Reeves-Maybin and/or many other talented veteran and incoming players is the type of lineup the Vols could put together around 2016, though all of those guys could start making an impact as soon as next year as well.
So while it’s all smiles for the guys in that picture, there are probably some concerned SEC offensive coordinators looking on as well.