- Max Olson, ESPN Staff Writer
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Editor's note: Before Texas' 2012 recruiting class arrives on campus, HornsNation will talk with each of the incoming freshman one more time before their college careers begin.
Kennedy Estelle knows Texas coaches signed Donald Hawkins and made him their left tackle this spring, but that doesn't mean the Pearland (Texas) Dawson product is looking to spend his freshman season on the bench.
The 6-foot-7, 295-pound offensive tackle is ready to contribute right away, but first he'll have to learn a new position. HornsNation caught up with Estelle at the Texas state track meet in Austin, right before he earned a bronze medal in the Class 4A shot put event.
HornsNation: How do you think shot put benefitted you as a football player?
Kennedy Estelle: It helps me out with explosiveness in my legs. We do a lot of leg work. You have to be explosive when you throw the shot put, and you have to be explosive when you're driving and blocking somebody. We do upper-body work, too, since I need my shoulders for shot put too. It's all about balance, really. It really helped me, but a football workout will always overpower a track workout.
HN: How excited are you to come back to Austin and enroll at Texas in a few weeks?
KE: I've been excited since my junior year when I committed. I've got like 20-something days and come right after graduation, and I think I'm going to room with Curtis Riser. I'm going to fight for my spot.
HN: What do you think your prospects are of getting on the field right away?
KE: I really don't know. Nobody knows except the coaches. I'm going to do what I've got to do and show them I deserve the spot. I'm going to work hard and fight for it.
HN: How much do you weigh now? And how is the Bennie Wylie workout plan working so far?
KE: I'm at 295 pounds. They want me to come in at an even 300, so I'm still trying to put on muscle. Man, the workouts are hard, but it's getting me right. I ain't going to lie, it's definitely different from high school workouts.
HN: You're younger than most of the guys in your class. Do you think that will make it tougher for you to get on the field as a freshman?
KE: It'll make it tougher, but it makes me want it more. I know the other guys have more experience, but once I get on the field I will show I have the most talent. It's a blessing to be this big at this age, but I still have time to learn.
HN: Where on the line does Stacy Searels want you to play when you join the program?
KE: They want me at left tackle. I haven't played it my whole life, but that's something I've got to adjust to. It's the best position to play on the offensive line because you get to guard the QB. It's the most important spot. It'll really help me and my future dreams of going to the NFL. I know that's the one that most people look for. I'm really focused on coming here and winning a championship at that position.
HN: What all goes into that adjustment of switching sides on the offensive line?
KE: It's a lot of adjustments. I'm so used to getting down with my right hand, and I haven't done a two-point stance since the Under Armour game. That's when I first tried to learn it. I really need the coaches to help me. I've got to pay attention so they can teach me. It's going to take time, but I'll try to adjust quick.
HN: Are you pretty excited about the team Texas has put together for this fall?
KE: I'm really excited. We have a whole lot of talent and a lot of players coming in who are big and strong. I know we can win a championship this year if everybody comes in as a team and not try to be individuals. If we pay attention and do what we've got to do, I know we've got a real special team.
HN: Texas brought in a junior college tackle, Donald Hawkins, this spring and he took over the left tackle job. Have you spent much time looking over the depth chart to see where you fit?
KE: I know they have Hawkins now. I saw him up here during the spring practices. I watched all the tackles, I wasn't just keying on him. It's a challenge, but I'm not really worried about it. I know if I come up here and do what I've got to do to impress the coaches, the best players will get to play.
HN: Have you heard much about Searels' coaching style or about how he likes to throw his hat?
KE: That's football. Every coach does that. It doesn't really bother me and I won't let that get to me. If I do what I've got to do, they ain't going to throw no hats at me.
Incoming freshman OL Kennedy Estelle is ready to get to Texas and take on the challenge of transitioning to left tackle.