Killebrew climbing recruiting ranks

LSU already has three commitments from the state of Texas and one more the Tigers would like to have on board is linebacker Robert Killebrew of Klein, Texas.

LSU linebackers coach Kirk Doll and tight ends coach/recruiting coordinator Derek Dooley are scouring the state of Texas to fill their needs for the upcoming signing class.


After all, LSU signed only one player from the Lone Star state in the last recruiting class and that left a lot of people scratching their heads because Texas is usually a good feeder for the Tiger program.


Head coach Nick Saban's staff has gotten off to a quick start for 2003 with pledges from three standouts west of the state line. Another player Saban would like to add to the mix is linebacker Robert Killebrew (6-2, 210, 4.5) of Klein, Texas.


Killebrew is coveted as one of the state's top linebacker prospects for 2003 and is high on Saban's list of guys he wants to replace senior linebackers Bradie James and Jeremy Lawrence once they depart the college ranks.


Killebrew used a stellar junior campaign to shoot up to the top of recruiting lists. He had 98 solo tackles, 54 unassisted, eight sacks, 14 quarterback hurries, three forced fumbles, two recovered fumbles and one touchdown.


Killebrew earned his district Most Valuable Player award and was named to Nike's All-America team. In the weight room, his stats include a 365-pound bench, 455 squat, a 305 power clean and 300 on the incline bench.


His top five schools as of Sept. 5 were LSU, Texas, Oklahoma, UCLA and Florida.


UCLA may have an edge because Killebrew grew up in Los Angeles, and the Bruins are his childhood favorite. However, after living in Klein for the past eight years, the passion that Southerners display for college football has really caught his attention.


Killebrew's style is exactly what college coaches seek these days, one characterized by tenacity, speed and a willingness to succeed at whatever cost.


"Robert is a youngster the good Lord blessed with a lot of talent," Klein coach Ray Kenabru said. "He has the speed, quickness, agility and all of the skill things that you want to have in a position player at any position. He loves the game of football and he plays it with a passion. He goes full-tilt, and I don't care if it is in practice or in a game."


Killebrew made an unofficial visit to the LSU campus over the summer and saw enough to where he will make an official visit at some point in the season.


"I like the coach (Saban) at LSU and it's not too far from home," said Killebrew, who is fully qualified with a 3.3 GPA and a 1010 on the SAT. "I could hop on a Southwest plane and be home in no time.


"When me and my friend visited LSU unofficially we had a chance to sit down and talk to (Saban). He is very laid back and very driven. You can just see that something is brewing underneath him."


Aside from his skills on the field, Kenabru said his young star's character is what separates him from other prospects.


"If you had ten more of him you could start measuring your finger for that state championship ring, and that is no lie," he said. "He's just a great kid. He has great leadership skills and is very concentrated with his efforts on the field, and in the classroom. There are not a lot of teenagers that have their priorities in order, and understand the difference between needs and wants. But he is one of them.


"The younger kids look up to him because he is a good football player, but they also see the other side of it too. If there is such a thing in today's society as one kid being a role model for another kid, Robert's a role model for a lot of our kids. I know there are two boys who live at my house that absolutely love him."


Many athletes will spend the summer before their senior year traveling to camps, far and away, with the intention of improving their stock. Killebrew took a different approach, one that may illustrate the confidence he has concerning his future.


"I went to visit a lot of schools and just lifted weights," Killebrew said. "I enjoyed my summer and just hung out with my friends. It's my senior year, but more importantly, my last summer with them, so I wanted to enjoy it as much as possible."


He said he has never been to a game in Tiger Stadium, but likes what he has seen on television.


"It's crazy in Tiger Stadium," he said. "All of those people screaming and hollering, and going crazy. Those drunk Cajuns know how to party."


In today's age of football, individualism has become more prevalent, but that will never be the case with Killebrew.


"Without a doubt he is a great player, and a great team player," Kenabru said. "With him, our football team comes first and foremost. He is just that type of kid. Our coaches around here call Robert a rope-holder. What I mean by that is that if you're hanging off a cliff and holding onto a rope, who do you want on the other end of it? Well, I'm telling you that you want Robert Killebrew on the other end because he won't let go."


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