Tennessee picked up a key commitment on Sunday.
Four-star defensive end prospect Jonathan Kongbo from Arizona Western junior college (Yuma, Ariz.) announced his commitment via Twitter. He is rated the No. 1 junior college prospect in the nation by 247 Sports.
— Jonathan Kongbo III (@King_Kongbo) November 29, 2015
Kongbo took an official visit to Ole Miss on Oct. 24 and Oregon State on Nov. 21. He was also considering official visits to Nebraska and Oregon State. His recruitment took off earlier this fall. In late October he received so many scholarship offers in such a short amount of time that he couldn’t remember them all. Tennessee, Ole Miss, Alabama, Arizona, Nebraska, Washington and Oregon State were among the flurry of offers.
Kongbo’s journey is an interesting one. He was born in Africa before moving to Canada when he was five years old. He didn’t start playing football until his final year of high school in Surrey, British Columbia.
“It’s crazy,” he told SEC Country earlier this month. “I shouldn’t even be playing football.”
Why football? Kongbo ultimately had to make a choice when his high school principal told him to play football or go to detention.
“He kind of forced me out and I went out,” Kongbo said. “I was decent at it.”
He was better than decent. In six games, Kongbo said he rang up 22 sacks and 87 tackles. After spending a season as a redshirt at Wyoming, he left the program. Now, he is one of the elite junior college prospects in the nation.
Kongbo was overlooked coming out of high school. He only had one scholarship offer to play football, from Wyoming. At the time, he envisioned himself a basketball player.
“It’s definitely different going into it the second time,” Kongbo said of his football recruitment. “It’s kind of cool this time around.”
So does Kongbo now prefer football over basketball? That’s an easy question.
“Definitely,” he said. “I’ve been studying it for two years now. Yeah, I like it better.”
Kongbo was the highest rated prospect on campus this weekend. He was among six junior college prospects that took official visits for the Vanderbilt game.