Top recruit Kahlil McKenzie announces he will attend Tennessee


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 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 You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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