The clock between now and National Signing Day on Feb. 3 couldn’t tick any faster for Tennessee fans when it comes to Jonathan Kongbo.
The Scout No. 1-rated JUCO defensive end in the nation is on the Vols’ list of commitments but the door is open for foes to change his mind.
“I’m still 100-percent with Tennessee at this moment,” Kongbo told InsideTennessee. “I just feel like it’d be responsible if I were to still check out all the other schools with the two visits I have left.”
The Arizona Western Community College defensive end and went from just one year of high school football in Canada to redshirting at Wyoming to an 11-sack, 55-tackle campaign this fall. That production combined with his 6-foot-5, 265-pound frame brought scholarship offers aplenty.
“It’s always been a dream to be reaching that point, but I would have never thought,” said Kongbo, who recently saw a fifth star added to his prospect rating.
Tennessee defensive line coach Steve Stripling spent time with Kongbo earlier this week. Last week, it was third-year Vols defensive coordinator John Jancek paying the D-end a visit.
“It went really well,” Kongbo said of his time with Jancek. “He came and we talked about Tennessee and their upcoming bowl game. He just reiterated how excited he was for me to get on campus.”
Kongbo had a front-row seat at Neyland Stadium to see Tennessee defeat Southeastern Conference visitor Vanderbilt by 25 points in late November, seeing the Big Orange defense accumulate four sacks and allow just 192 passing yards.
“I saw a lot of potential,” the five-star prospect said. “They have some solid players on the D-line. They’re a hard-working group, fundamentally sound. I just really envisioned myself playing along with them.”
The dinner table was another portion of Kongbo’s official visit that caught his eye.
“We ate lavishly — that’s the word I would use to describe it. It was lavish living. I had a good time; it was great food,” he said.
Alabama looks to get the next official visit with Kongbo tripping to Tuscaloosa on the weekend of Jan. 15.
“My parents wanted me to take all my visits. So I’m kind of like fulfilling that wish for them,” Kongbo said.
The Canadian figures to hit the road to Rocky Top soon after he grabs his diploma in Arizona.
“As soon as I graduate. I will be out of here May 15. I’m going to try to get there as soon as possible,” Kongbo said.
Between now and then, the defender will wear a blue collar.
“I just want to get stronger, work on my first step a little more, just explosiveness, little things to fine tune that I need to work on in my game,” he said.
Kongbo, who received a Florida State offered Wednesday, reports than he ran the 100-meter dash in high school in 11.6 seconds.