Anybody who has followed Rocky Top Insider or Tennessee recruiting in general this year knows that five-star defensive tackle commitment Kahlil McKenzie has been the unofficial recruiting coordinator for this class.
So it makes perfect sense that with the Vols’ biggest uncommitted target coming in town this weekend in offensive tackle Drew Richmond, McKenzie would lead the charge in trying to land him. McKenzie is taking to social media to encourage fans to help the Vols land the five-star offensive tackle, who is currently committed to Ole Miss and is expected to make his final decision on National Signing Day next Wednesday.
— Kahlil McKenzie Jr (@KM1_Era) January 28, 2015
Simply put: Tennessee’s current recruiting class is loaded, ranked as high as No. 2 in the nation by 247Sports as of Thursday, but adding Richmond would be a forceful finish that would also address Tennessee’s biggest need in the 2015 class – an elite offensive tackle.
Richmond is a high four-star prospect on every site, except for Rivals, where he is a five-star and No. 12 overall player in the nation. The Vols currently have four offensive linemen committed or enrolled in the 2015 class – Jack Jones, Chance Hall, Venzell Boulware and Zach Stewart.
All of them have plenty of upside, but none have that immediate-impact capability of Richmond, who could easily contend for playing time immediate upon arriving on campus. Offensive tackle has been somewhat of a weak spot for the Vols as they mixed and matched various combinations in 2014 to try to replace Ja’Wuan James and Tiny Richardson, who departed after 2013.
Richmond has been near the top of UT’s board this entire recruiting cycle, and even his commitment to Ole Mis in September hasn’t stopped the Vols from continuing to make him a priority, as multiple coaches have been to his Memphis home in recent weeks to check in on him.
He could be the exclamation point on this class, and McKenzie is clearly doing all he can to make that happen.