McKenzie chose to leave Tennessee early

Kahlil McKenzie considered returning to Knoxville for his senior season, but the Tennessee defensive tackle and son of Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said the prospect of focusing all his attention on football was too great to pass up.

“My decision to come out early just came from just being able to focus 100 percent on football,” McKenzie said Saturday at the NFL Scouting Combine.

The decision to leave school early was a head-scratcher for some draft analysts, after McKenzie fell short of lofty expectations in three seasons at UT.

NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said during a conference call with reporters last week that Kahlil McKenzie’s decision to leave school early was puzzling.

On his decision to turn pro, McKenzie said his dad told him to “work hard, be humble through the whole process and make sure everything is at 100 percent.” McKenzie said NFL teams treat don’t treat him any differently because of his dad.