"Kiwi" Ranked Number One

He arrived on the Heights as a skinny, 200-pound basketball-turned football player. As of last week, junior DE <b>Mathias Kiwanuka</b> is the #1 NFL prospect in the college game according to Scout.com. His teammate and co-lineman <b>Tim Bulman</b> discussed what makes "Kiwi" so good.

While most BC players answered questions regarding Rutgers University and the Eagles' come-from-behind victory at Notre Dame, DT Tim Bulman was pulled aside by one reporter to ask about a teammate, of all things.

Bulman, a senior from nearby Milton, MA, has been riding an emotional high over the past 10 days between defeating the Irish and watching his beloved Red Sox win the World Series. On Wednesday he talked to me about Scout.com's (formerly TheInsiders.com) number one pro prosect.

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What is there to say about BC's 6'7", 255-pound defensive end?

"He has unlimited potential," said Bulman. "The way he moves for a guy who's 6-7 is very impressive; it's prototypical when you talk about an NFL end."

While "Kiwi", as he's referred to by the national media- Bulman always refers to him as "Mathias"- has not put up the numbers BC fans have expected in 2004 (22 sacks perhaps?), he is a force to be reckoned with along the defensive line.

Just ask ND quarterback Brady Quinn. On a key third-down in the third quarter two Saturdays ago, Mathias bull-rushed the Notre Dame left tackle and planted Quinn on his rear-end for his fifth sack of the year.

While it's difficult for a defensive player to gain national recognition based on performance alone, Scout.com's experts have taken notice.

Mathias Kiwanuka has recently been named the number one pro prospect in the college game.

"I don't think he'd let that go to his head, he has a lot to accomplish and show people," said Bulman, regarding Kiwanuka's number one ranking. "As far as he's come, not being a big recruit.... he was 200 pounds, a beanpole, he's worked his butt off to be a legitimate 1st round pick. I don't think he's going to let that go to his head."

Despite having a "quiet" 2004 according to many BC fans, Kiwanuka is tied for second on the squad with T.J. Stancil with 39 tackles. He also has 11 TFLs for a total of 64 yards.

Bulman and Kiwanuka make each other better on the field. Both are very competetive, not only against the opposition but in a friendly way against each other.

"He says he gives me sacks or he gives me tackles, he'll let me have a few," said Bulman with a laugh. "But it's all in good fun, the competition between us, that spurs us on."

The competition will most certainly propel Kiwanuka into the first round of the NFL Draft, and many scouts have Bulman going in the latter stages of day one.

"Kiwi" still has one year of eligibility left, and BC fans shouldn't write him off just yet. He was in a hurry on Wednesday so he did not answer any questions about the Draft. But eventually they will be asked.

At any rate, Mathias Kiwanuka is number one. USC's Matt Leinart, Miami's Antrel Rolle and Cal's Aaron Rodgers are 2-4.

Pretty good company for a kid who four years ago was a 200-pound beanpole.

Michael Chevallier is the publisher of EagleInsider.com. He can be reached at EagleInsiderGuru@aol.com.

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