The Opening: DL Kahlil McKenzie

The Opening: DL Kahlil McKenzie

Clayton Valley (Calif.) defensive lineman Kahlil McKenzie came in to The Opening as the No. 1 rated player out West and could leave as the top overall recruit in the country.

It has been a good experience at The Opening for Kahlil McKenzie, on and off the field.

"This has been a dream of mine to make this event since I first saw it on T.V," McKenzie said. "I remember watching it thinking, 'man does NIKE really have a campus.' That was the coolest thing I ever saw and this experience for has been pretty surreal.

"The week has been great competing against the best players and creating friendships. I'm pretty happy with my overall performance so far. You can always get better but overall, I feel good about how things have gone for me."

On the recruiting front, McKenzie will make his decision later tonight on ESPNU.

“I’ve known for about three weeks now where I was going,” McKenzie said. “I have two great schools to choose from with Arizona and Tennessee. With Arizona, I love how well the coaching staff gets along, they have known each other for so long and it’s like a big family there.

"I had a great visit in the summer and really connected well with everyone. They don't have the players right now but if they get him and everyone meshes together, I think they can be really successful.

The Vols have strong family connections to the big tackle, which has many feeling they'll be tough to beat.

“With UT, it’s a great family environment and I love how close everyone is to each other. Tennessee is bringing in a lot of talent and they're definitely building something special there.

"There’s also the benefit of my family being from Tennessee. My dad and uncle played there and I still have some family back there too. That's not the biggest factor in my decision, family is important but I'm picking the place where I felt the best connection and where I think I can have the most success."

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