A third junior has decided to forgo their senior season at Tennessee. John Kelly and Rashaan Gaulden made their decisions last week, now Kahlil McKenzie has joined them.
“I will be foregoing my senior season and entering the 2018 NFL Draft,” McKenzie said on Instagram.
Where do I start... I still remember the first time I put on my dads old beat up Bowl Jersey and helmet; coming to Knoxville for whatever reason to spend time with family; going to the rooftop of Neyland Stadium and getting chills looking into that empty stadium... Well, first things first, Lord thank you for everything you have blessed me with, thank you for a family that loves me, supports me and guides me, thank you for your never-ending love and the lessons you teach me everyday. Secondly, I want to say thank you to the city of Knoxville and the ENTIRE VolNation for embracing me through the ups and downs through these past 3 years. Knoxville will always be my second home and I will love y’all tomorrow as much as I do now and have my entire life. Third, I want to thank my coaches for the opportunity they gave me to attend this amazing University. I also want to thank my teammates for pushing me everyday, I love every last one of y’all. The memories I have with y’all make me smile and proud to have been your teammate. I have so much love in my heart for all of y’all and hope that you can have that same love for me at the next level. I will be foregoing my senior season and entering the 2018 NFL Draft. Lord, the rest is in Your gracious and powerful hands. Now I’m on to the next chapter!
McKenzie was a candidate to really make a jump next year playing in Jeremy Pruitt’s 3-4 scheme, potentially playing nose tackle. Somewhat curiously, he’s chosen a different route.
He’ll finish his Tennessee career with 72 total tackles (5.5 for loss) and three sacks after appearing in 31 career games. McKenzie registered a career high in tackles against Georgia Tech to open the 2017 season with eight.
The former five star defensive tackle never really found his groove on the football field in Knoxville. This is a pretty big surprise — one that wasn’t on my radar at all. We’ll see how it plays out for him.