With a 6-0 football squad in just their third season in the FBS, Liberty on Monday added the highest-rated recruit in the program’s history. And he chose the Flames over numerous Power Five schools.
Khristian Zachary, a 6-foot-3, 245-pound defensive end from Carrollton (Ga.) High, verbally committed to join Liberty over other schools that had extended offers, such as Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma, Missouri and Tennessee. Zachary is a three-star recruit, according to Rivals.com, which broke the news. He’s a four-star recruit according to ESPN, which ranks him at No. 279 in its 2021 top 300.
But to Zachary, it’s not about how prestigious or powerful a program may be. He’s going where he feels God is leading him, and that’s to Liberty, a large private evangelical Christian university in Lynchburg, Va.
“A lot of times, people go to school for the wrong reasons,” Zachary said in a video released on social media. “You say the fame, the fortune, your race — you can’t do that. You gotta put Christ in the middle.”
Breaking: Carrollton, Ga. DE Khristian Zachary reveals his commitment.
“That vision was so strong that I knew I couldn’t deny it,” said Zachary.
— ChadSimmons_ (@ChadSimmons_) October 26, 2020
While many programs eagerly anticipated Zachary’s announcement, he says he told Liberty about his decision in April and is now relieved to have gone public. He’s so certain about his decision because he says he received a vision from God.
“Before I had any offers, I was on a recruiting trip to Georgia Tech, and on that trip, I had a very vivid vision that I was playing for Liberty ballin’ out, destroying quarterbacks and we won a championship,” Zachary told Rivals.com. “That vision was so strong that I knew I couldn’t deny it. I went on that visit to think about Georgia Tech, but Liberty was put in my mind so strong for a reason.”
He knows some people will “think I am crazy for picking Liberty over Alabama, Tennessee and so many other colleges with big fan bases, programs that are on TV, and things like that, but I had to realize my purpose. God told me it is not about what the college can give to you, but what you can give to the college. I am going to go to Liberty, speak my mind, and hope to open other doors for other things to see what Liberty represents. I want to go that school, help make a change and just be different,” he told Rivals.com.
Zachary says he enjoyed the recruiting process — talking with famed Alabama coach Nick Saban, visiting a powerhouse such as Georgia, and meeting with many great coaches. He ended up getting many offers, but the one he was most excited about was from Liberty.
“I have to put God first and do what is right for Him and for me,” Zachary told Rivals.com. “Even my dad kept questioning me about this, but I know God wants me at Liberty, I prayed on it, He showed me that vision, and I feel great about my decision.”
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