Vols Among Top Contenders for Georgia Edge Rusher

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    (Photo via @reverendtriple7 on Twitter)

    Tennessee has a need to add edge rushers to their defense. The Vols picked up a couple in their 2020 signing class, and UT currently has a few projected pass rushers committed to them in their 2021 class. But Tennessee’s coaches know that you can never have too many dynamic athletes coming off the edge, and the Vols are still pursuing several targets in that area. One of those prospects included Tennessee in his trimmed down list of schools on Wednesday.

    Khristian Zachary is a borderline four-star weak-side defensive end out of Georgia in the 2021 class. On Wednesday, he tweeted out a video showing off his top six schools, and the Vols were included along with Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Colorado.

    According to the 247Sports Composite rankings, Zachary is the No. 362 overall prospect, No. 26 weak-side defensive end, and 29th-rated recruit in the state of Georgia.

    The 6-foot-3, 245-pound defender holds over two dozen scholarship offers currently, but he’ll be focusing mainly on the six schools on his list. Tennessee gave Zachary his first SEC offer back in early January of this year, and he attended a Junior Day event on UT’s campus in late January after that.

    Since adding that offer from the Vols, Zachary has picked up offers from six other SEC schools and a number of other Power Five programs such as Oklahoma, Penn State, Michigan State, Florida State, and others.

    In an interview with Chad Simmons of Rivals.com, Zachary broke down why these six teams made the cut and are the programs he’ll be focusing on the most. Communication and caring about him as a person are two big reasons why Zachary chose the six schools he did, and Tennessee’s coaching staff in particular makes them stand out.

    “I love everyone on the Tennessee coaching staff. They are all great guys and great coaches,” Zachary told Simmons. “I have had some deep conversations with coach Jeremy Pruitt, and he has gotten to know me well. They were the first big Power 5 school to offer me too, so that means a lot.”

    Zachary also added that Tennessee, Colorado, and Missouri are the three schools currently recruiting him the hardest, stating that those three programs communicate with him daily.

    On the field, Zachary shows off a great initial burst and quite a bit of strength. He has the ability to power through blocks and has a very strong motor, not giving up on a play no matter what. He’s disruptive off the edge and is a pain to block if the tackle guarding him doesn’t have a quick first step.

    Zachary played for Landmark Christian the last couple seasons but will play for Carrollton High School as a senior. In six recorded games from this past year, Zachary totaled around 60 tackles, 15 sacks, and four forced fumbles. He was named the MVP of the Georgia Elite Junior Game in December after totaling nine tackles, five tackles for loss, a sack, and a quarterback hurry. As a sophomore, he was named the All-Region Defensive Player of the Year after amassing 117 tackles and 20 sacks.

    Tennessee currently has 22 prospects committed to them in their 2021 class, and a couple of those recruits are listed as defensive ends. Top-40 overall player Dylan Brooks is a weak-side defensive end, and three-star Darrell Jackson is listed as a strong-side defensive end.



    Nathanael Rutherford
    Nathanael Rutherford is the managing editor and social media manager for Rocky Top Insider. Nathanael graduated from the University of Tennessee and cultivated a passion for the Vols while growing up in Knoxville a mere 10 minutes from Neyland Stadium. He's been a part of the RTI team since November of 2015 and has been the editor of RTI since June of 2017. If he's not talking or writing about Tennessee athletics, he's probably talking about Star Wars.

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