One of the top defensive line prospects in the nation is off the board. Five-star 2015 defensive tackle Kahlil McKenzie committed to Tennessee on Thursday night, choosing the Volunteers over fellow finalist Arizona. McKenzie made his decision at The Opening.
The 6'4, 341-pound prospect attends Concord (Calif.) Clayton Valley High School. He also received offers from Alabama, Florida, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oregon, Texas and USC, among others. McKenzie is rated as the 32nd-best player nationally by the 247sports composite, as well as the seventh-best defensive tackle in the nation and the seventh-best prospect in the state of California.
McKenzie had named Tennessee his leader back in May, so the decision does not come as a surprise. The Volunteers now have 20 commitments in their 2015 class, and are well on their way to a second-straight Top 10 class under Butch Jones.
Earlier Wednesday, McKenzie was named the top defensive line performer at The Opening, winning the position's MVP award and beating out five-star defensive end Josh Sweat. The folks at our Tennessee hub, Rocky Top Talk, are quite pleased:
Barring injury, McKenzie will merit a starting position at defensive tackle as soon as he steps foot on the Hill. With his rare combination of size, power, and speed, he is a throwback to late 90s Tennessee defensive linemen like John Henderson and Albert Haynesworth, players who could both penetrate and hold the point of attack at the same time. McKenzie is the rare defensive lineman who can change the entire offensive gameplan, as coordinators must plan how to deal with his disruptive ability in the interior line, leaving one-on-one matchups on the outside.