Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie will have the chance to select his son a year earlier than expected.
On his Instagram account Sunday, Kahlil McKenzie confirmed that he will be leaving Tennessee early and making himself available for the April NFL draft. “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,” the defensive lineman wrote. “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.”
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 played in 31 games the past three seasons, starting one of those contests. A pectoral injury limited him this past season.
During his time in Knoxville, McKenzie was credited with credited with 72 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss and three sacks.
McKenzie is the third Volunteer player to leave early this year, joining running back John Kelly and defensive back Rashaan Gaulden.