Arizona football recruiting: DT Kahlil McKenzie picks Tennessee

Christian Petersen

The Arizona Wildcats came in second in 5-star tackle Kahlil McKenzie's recruitment.

Rich Rodriguez's best recruiting work came up short when 2015 5-star defensive tackle Kahlil McKenzie picked the Tennessee Volunteers over the Arizona Wildcats on Thursday.

According to the Arizona Daily Star's Daniel Berk, Arizona won't let up on recruiting McKenzie, the 6'4, 340-pound lineman who will play this upcoming season at Clayton Valley Charter High School in Concord, Calif.

McKenzie would have been the highest-rated recruit committed to the Wildcats in the RichRod era. Arizona earned a commitment from 2014 5-star cornerback Jalen Tabor in January before he flipped to attend Florida just a week after giving UA his pledge.

McKenzie, who announced his decision to become a Vol at The Opening, was dominant in the event, and Arizona could have used the ready-to-go freshman on their defensive line this season. The unit lost nose tackle Sione Tuihalamaka to graduation and though it has experience with ends Reggie Gilbert and Dan Pettinato returning, the entire group of tackles and ends only has one player listed at 300 pounds. The Wildcats have not exactly been a physical force up front over the last two years and have instead relied upon speed, execution and extra bodies to keep opponents in check with the 3-3-5 defense.

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