The 6-foot-4, 280-pound tackle was previously invited to Saturday’s Junior Day, but Rybka wasn’t sure he was going to come. Then he got an offer from the Vols, making it an easy decision.
“It was up in the air if I was going to go or not, but then they offered me that Friday, so I was like, ‘I’m going to go see what it’s like.’ I went up there and just loved it,” he said.
Rybka had visited Tennessee once before, attending the Missouri game last fall. He didn’t get an opportunity to speak with any coaches then, though, so on Saturday he used the time to meet Pruitt and coach Tracy Rocker.
“They’re very genuine,” Rybka said of the visit.
“Everybody up there is nice, but the coaches are straight up. They’re not going to just tell you what you want to hear like: ‘You’re definitely going to get to play your freshman year when you come here. They say like, ‘If you come here it’s a responsibility. There are big shoes to fill and you’re going to have to take care of what you got to do to get on the field.’”
Under Rocker and Pruitt, the Vols are seeking versatile defensive lineman, capable of playing as a 3i, 5 or 6-technique. Rybka believes that suits his skill-set as well, since he lines up at multiple spots for Dickson County. Rybka grew up a big Ohio State fan, and an offer from the Buckeyes would be a dream come true. While he waits on that, several more schools appear set to enter the picture soon.
“I’m still kind of shocked that I’ve gotten six offers just in the last week,” he said.
“It’s really hard to (explain). Hard to believe. Schools decided, ‘This kid can play.’ Once one school offered, others decided, ‘Why not us?’ Virginia Tech is about to pull the trigger soon. South Carolina, Arizona and Illinois, too.”
Rybka plans to visit Tennessee again for a spring practice and visit Va. Tech and Memphis in the coming weeks.