Jonathan Kongbo officially becoming a Tennessee Volunteer was never in doubt, even though it took the junior college standout more than a week to send in his national letter of intent.
The nation’s top rated junior college prospect finally sent that all-important letter in on Thursday. That gave the Vols the final gem in a strong recruiting class. Some within Tennessee’s program believe Kongbo, who is from Arizona Western (Yuma) Junior College, is the most important 2016 commitment because of his upside and ability to contribute immediately.
Here are some things to know about Kongbo’s recruitment:
- There was much made about the influence Kongbo’s father had in his son’s recruitment. In reality, Kongbo’s father likely felt insulted that Kongbo committed during his official visit in November without consulting him first. However, his father never doubted the Vols. He just wanted to get to know them better.
- Cultural differences were a hurdle to overcome. The Kongbos are originally from Africa where fathers make most of the important decisions. When Kongbo’s father wasn’t consulted about his initial commitment, that didn’t sit well. However, the Vols did nothing that could have soured the relationship. In fact, they salvaged it and built it up.
- There was no doubt Kongbo would end up a Vol even though it took him some extra time to send in his letter of intent. In fact, Kongbo was always intent on being a Vol after his initial commitment.
- The Vols should be commended. Kongbo could have gone to any school in the country. He chose Tennessee when strong arguments could be made for his other primary considerations. Florida State and Alabama are winning at a high level and have a history of producing top defensive linemen. Auburn was earlier on the scene than the Vols. Southern California is much closer to home. From a recruiting standpoint, this was a monster win for the Vols.