NCF Nation: James Harrison
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
AUSTIN, Texas -- The reports assuredly weren't what Sergio Kindle wanted to read.
|Marc Piscotty/Icon SMI|
|Sergio Kindle has high expectations for the 2009 season.|
So when the stark prognosis from NFL evaluators came back about what Kindle's draft prospects would be if he declared early, the Texas defensive standout didn't waste much time with the rest.
"After they said I was a second- or third-round choice, I didn't even bother reading all of it," Kindle said. "I saw that and threw it away. I said, 'OK, I'm coming back.'"
If Kindle has a dramatic senior season that drastically improves his stock for the 2010 NFL draft, that balled-up NFL scouting evaluation might be the biggest piece of inspiration that got him there.
Texas coaches are using Kindle as a down lineman this spring after alternating as a defensive lineman and linebacker last season. His development as the team's major playmaker along the defensive front will be critical in settling one of the Longhorns' critical lingering questions in their hopes of challenging for the Big 12 championship.
In his first season as a starter in 2008, Kindle produced 10 sacks and ranked fifth on the team with 53 tackles.
Such a performance was remarkable considering that Kindle barely had a chance to work at defensive end before the season started. He missed last spring recovering from knee surgery and was moved to his new position for some snaps by Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp shortly before the season started.
"We weren't really fair to him last year putting him at a new position without repping it enough in the situations we put him in at defensive end," Muschamp said. "We really didn't know what we had until we were rolling in fall camp. We need to get ready to play by getting guys comfortable with what they are going to do."