January 2, 2009

Kindle may have tipped off his decision

PARADISE VALLEY, Ariz. - We hear talented underclassmen say they are planning on coming back to school all the time when asked by the media just to get the questioners off their back.

It happened with Kevin Durant, D.J. Augustin, T.J. Ford, even to some degree with Jamaal Charles and Jermichael Finley. In the back of their minds, they knew there was a better than 50-50 chance they were leaving.

But Sergio Kindle indicated today during Media Day for Monday night's Fiesta Bowl game against Ohio State that he's planning on coming back, and it seemed heartfelt.

Kindle was asked - point blank - "Are you coming out?"

Kindle replied, "No."

Then he was asked, "So you're coming back?"

And Kindle nodded yes.

Then he was asked, "For sure?"

And Kindle said, "I'm not thinking about it right now. But I haven't given any thought to leaving."

Then Kindle was asked, "So right now you're planning on coming back," and he nodded yes again.

Kindle, however, said he has not yet received his evaluation from the NFL about where he might be drafted if he were to come out.

Kindle's responses today were totally indicative of everything I've been told about the situation. My sources close to Kindle have said he plans to come back to Texas unless he gets a first-round grade from the NFL evaluation committee.

This may have been Kindle's initial attempt to talk about the feeling he has in his heart, which is to come back and improve.

The Predator even joked that he didn't have all the "defensive end technique and skill" that Brian Orakpo used for his 10.5 sacks. Kindle said he got his nine sacks off "natural ability."

Kindle said he thinks with a good spring and summer working on pass rush technique and with an injury-free senior season, he can have the same kind of year Orakpo had this year - collecting awards like the Lombardi and Nagurski. Kindle even joked that he wants to learn some of the "basketball moves" Orakpo used this year and is eagerly awaiting a "teaching tape" from Orakpo.

Kindle said he could see himself filling the leadership role that will be vacated on defense by Brian Orakpo and Roy Miller and talked about the "fiery" speech he gave to the team before the Oklahoma game this season.

"I could see it being an easy transition," Kindle said. "I've learned from guys like Tim Crowder, Michael and Marcus Griffin, Aaron Ross and people like those guys. So it should be easy.

"I've got three years of learning from great leaders under my belt. I'm more of a quiet type of person, but when the time comes for me to step into that role, I'll do it without a problem."

"I didn't speak this year as much as Roy (Miller) or Orakpo," Kindle said. "But I can
put in my little two cents to make a dollar."

Before the Oklahoma game this season, Kindle gave an in-your-face speech that Roddrick Muckelroy said had the whole team ready to go out and break something.

"I poured it out there a little bit," Kindle said. "It worked for me, so I think I might get invited back. It had to be fiery because I can do that."

Kindle was roommates with senior corner Ryan Palmer this year. Kindle said the two ended up together because no one else wanted to room with the talkative Palmer. But now the two are best friends and recently went and got matching tattoos on the inside of their right biceps that read: "BLB" next to a bag of money.

Palmer declined to say what it stood for, but Kindle said, "Bad Luck Boys."

Asked to explain, Kindle talked about how things got off to a slow start at Texas for both of them before picking up speed.

"Our luck was a little shady, but I think things are starting to go our way," Kindle said.

The bag of money represents the goal both have to play in the NFL. But for Kindle, it sounds like he might be willing to wait a year before picking up his bag of money.

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