Kudla Among Buckeye Players At Signing Event

Defensive end Mike Kudla played his final game in a Buckeye uniform in January's Fiesta Bowl and is now working hard to improve his draft status for April's NFL Draft. Kudla was on hand yesterday at an autograph session in Canton and spoke about his NFL status and more.

Mike Kudla was in North Canton on Saturday to sign autographs at Logan Sports. The event was held to raise money to benefit the James Cancer Center in Columbus. Kudla talked about his career at Ohio State and his preparation for the NFL draft in April.

"Right now I'm getting ready for the NFL combine," said Kudla. "I need to be in Indianapolis on Friday and my testing begins Saturday. I've been working out really hard and I know what I need to do."

So how has Kudla been spending his time since the Buckeyes win over Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl?

"It's been pretty hectic really," said Kudla. "I've selected Neil Cornrich to be my agent. I'm as prepared as I can be for the combine. I know what to expect and now it's up to me to get it done."

Kudla talked about what he feels he needs to work on to be a successful NFL player.

"I'm mostly concerned about the speed of the game," said Kudla. "That's what I've been working on a lot. I'm lucky that we ran a pro style defense at Ohio State. A lot of ex-Buckeyes in the NFL have talked to me about making the adjustment. I've talked with Mike Vrabel, Will Smith and Kenny Peterson about how to play the defensive end position at the next level and they've been really helpful."

Kudla talked about his memories of playing for Ohio State.

"There were so many great moments that it's hard to name just one," said Kudla. "Obviously winning the national championship was really special. I think this last Fiesta Bowl win over Notre Dame was one of my greatest moments as well. The seniors have been together for four years and going out with a big win was great."

Kudla also mentioned the sack of Irish quarterback Brady Quinn on the last play of the game as a fitting way to end his career at Ohio State.

"That play was a neat way to go out," Kudla said,with a smile. "Not many people remember their last play and that sack was the way to go. I'll probably think more about it down the road as I get older."

Kudla also talked about the coaching he received as a Buckeye.

"Coach Heacock has helped me a lot," said Kudla. "He's a super guy and a great coach. He basically taught me everything I know about playing defensive end. He demands your best both in games and at practice. Another great thing about him is he's really big on seniors. He really encourages us to have our best year as a senior."

Head coach Jim Tressel is also a favorite of Kudla's.

"I spent all my time with the defensive coaches so I didn't get too much coaching from coach Tressel on the field," said Kudla. "It was off the field that he helped me so much. He helped shape me as the person I am today. He taught me the importance of always doing things right whether it's football related or in my personal life."

Kudla will participate in the NFL combine next weekend. With a good showing in front of the scouts Kudla figures to be a high choice in the April draft.

Buckeye Sports Top Stories