RECRUITING: "XLK" is a hot commodity

Duncanville DL Xavier Lawson-Kennedy talks about recruiting and his interest in the Sooners

James Hale had an opportunity to interview one of the Sooners most important recruiting targets for 2003. Xavier-Lawson Kennedy, Duncanville, Texas monster DT was on the show Monday morning at 6:45. Going into his senior season, Kennedy is considered to be one of the 50 players in the country and many feel he may be the top defensive lineman in the country.

JH: How's your summer going so far?

XLK: Very well so far. But it's about time for two-a-days so the summer is just about over for me.

JH: Last time we talked you were right at 300 pounds. Have you gained or lost weight since then?

XLK: I'm at 305 right now, but I expect to lose about 10 pounds in two-a-days and play around 295.

JH: Do you still have your quickness at that size? What's your 40 time when you get up around 300?

XLK: My best 40 time this summer is 4.82. I believe I was at 303 when I ran that.

JH: Wow. I don't think you're going to get any trouble from coaches if you can run a 4.82 at 300. Are you strictly a defensive tackle or do you play the nose?

XLK: Our normal defense is a 3–4. I can play all three DL positions.

JH: What position is your favorite?

XLK: Probably the three. The three man is primarily concerned with the center and the guard. You have to defeat them. It demands the most in terms of technique and strength.

JH: In the recruiting process, are you aware of other high profile players? I mean, do you read about them? When you play against them do you focus on them, do you get psyched up to play them?

XLK: I don't read a lot of recruiting stuff. But we're always aware of the best players on every team we play. If I'm assigned to go against someone, I'll concentrate on my assignment and do it regardless of where he's ranked.

JH: How about other highly thought of players in your area. For example Jarvis Moss at Denton Ryan, do you hear a lot about him?

XLK: Oh yeah, he thinks he's real good – but that's not coming from me. (Laughs).

JH: Will you go against Moss and Battle. Do you have a rivalry going with Denton Ryan?

XLK: No. They're in a smaller class, down one from us. Our main rival is going to be Baytown Lee. We can't win state without beating them, and we'll probably see them in the playoffs.

JH: In your opinion, do you think Texas high school football will prepare you for college level play?

XLK: About as much as anything could. Texas has great high school football. It seems like you're always bumping into D1 prospects and from time to time you play against great ones like Mohetau.

JH: What do you think about him?

XLK: He's awesome. He's for real. No question he's the best I've ever seen.

JH: How many offers do you have now?

XLK: I have 47. It's great because it gives me an opportunity to go to any school in the country.

JH: Have you narrowed it down yet. Do you have a list of favorites?

XLK: "No, I don't have an official list. Sure I have schools that I like right now, but at this point I don't want to rule anything out. I'm just not that far along in the process and I'm open at this point to all the schools.

JH: What are your thoughts on Oklahoma?

XLK: Oklahoma's high on my list because of potential playing time and family atmosphere, which are both very important to me.

JH: When you say playing time, do you mean depth chart or philosophy?

XLK: I mean they're not afraid to play young players. They play freshmen if they're the best. Other coaches tell you that they play the best too and then they'll talk to you about red-shirting.

JH: Do you have any preferences to go out of state or stay in state?

XLK: Doesn't matter. I've started thinking about distance some. It seems eight hours may be a limit, but I'm not ready to say that yet. No matter where I go, my family will be at all the games – regardless.

JH: Have you given some thought as to what you want to study in college?

XLK: Yes sir, I want to go into corporate law.

JH: Well you certainly have the right name for it. I believe that your parents were thinking about your future when you were still in the womb. What other factors will be important to you in choosing a school?

XLK: The coaching staff. I want to ask how long they've been there. How long will they be there. I've had a lot of friends go to a school and then lose a coach as soon as they get there.

JH: I know you're looking forward to your senior year. Does Duncanville have the talent to go all the way, and will you get the chance to play some offense?

XLK: Oh yeah. We'll be very strong. If I play any offense it'll be some at tight end. So yeah, I'd like to get some PT there.

JH: Can you catch well enough to play tight end?

XLK: (Laughing) Sure. I've got good hands. I played TE before going over to defense a couple of years ago.

JH: Well Xavier, we appreciate you coming on with us and I'm sure we'll be talking several more times in the upcoming months.
XLK: Thank you for having me on.

Sooners Illustrated Top Stories