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.
The 6-foot-4, 280-pound Rybka, who now holds offers from at least 15 schools, said he's also hoping to visit Georgia "soon," although he has yet to receive an offer from the Bulldogs.He said Tennessee, Kentucky and Oregon are the three schools talking with him most frequently.
Rybka said he has continued to hear plenty from the Vols since they gave him his second SEC offer more than six weeks ago. He said he talks with them about "every other day.
"Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt, defensive line coach Tracy Rocker, running backs coach David Johnson and Derrick Ansley, the Vols' new defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach, are among the members of their staff who recently have stayed in contact with Rybka.In addition to his visit to Tennessee on Feb. 2, he attended the Vols' home finale Nov. 17 against Missouri. He said they told him during his latest trip to Knoxville "that I could be a big factor for the team" and that he "could come play there."“I mean, I haven’t really visited all my other schools. But I visited that one and I liked it," Rybka said at the time. "I’m not sure if I’m going to go there or not, but I liked it. I liked the energy and the vibes and stuff.”Alabama, Oklahoma, Oregon, Mississippi State, Kentucky, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia Tech are among the other schools pursuing him.
He landed an offer from Alabama on March 2 while visiting the Crimson Tide.Rybka is ranked by 247Sports as the No. 393 overall prospect and No. 36 defensive tackle in the 2020 class and the No. 12 junior from the state of Tennessee. In the industry-generated 247Sports Composite, he's ranked the No. 556 overall player and No. 49 defensive tackle in the 2020 class.
I think it just reaffirms the fact that winning cures everything. Young guys these days seem to value winning mire than anything. But in the end, get the best players you can from wherever you can. In state recruiting is not a big deal imo.