Top recruit Kahlil McKenzie announces he will attend Tennessee

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Oakland Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie told his highly recruited son to "go with your gut" when it came to choosing a college, and his son's gut evidently told him to attend Reggie's alma mater.

Defensive tackle Kahlil McKenzie (6-foot-4, 341 pounds) announced Thursday night he was committing to Tennessee; his other finalist was Arizona. McKenzie, from Concord (Calif.) Clayton Valley Charter, is a consensus five-star recruit and one of the top 10 defensive tackles nationally in the 2015 recruiting class in the 247sports.com composite recruiting rankings. In making the announcement, McKenzie said, "I think that I can really do something special" at Tennessee.

Reggie McKenzie was a linebacker at Tennessee from 1981-84 and played eight seasons in the NFL. Kahlil's uncle, Raleigh, also is a Vols alum; he was the Vols' starting center from 1982-84. Raleigh McKenzie, who played six seasons in the NFL, is a Raiders scout.

Kahlil's decision wasn't a surprise, given the family ties and the Vols' almost desperate need for defensive linemen. He will be expected to contend for playing time as a true freshman in 2015. He is Tennessee's second five-star commitment in the 2015 class, joining wide receiver Preston Williams of Hampton (Ga.) Lovejoy. Williams is considered the nation's No. 1 wide receiver.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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