College offensive line coaches take notice, SMU's Adrian Klemm is quickly learning how to become one of the premiere offensive line coaches in the game.
"I thought he did a great job this season. He is going to be a great coach. I think he is already one of the best o-line coaches I have ever been around. He is very smart and very knowledgeable," said coach June Jones to PonyStampede.com. "He just wants to know how to get better. He already turned down an NFL opportunity to be here, but I would think that one day if he wants to go, he will certainly have an opportunity."
A former NFL lineman and three-time Super Bowl winner, Klemm was a four-year starter at Hawaii. He began volunteering with the SMU program in 2008 after spending seven seasons in the NFL and winning three Super Bowls as a member of the New England Patriots. During his seven seasons, Klemm blocked for two of the best quarterbacks in the game, Brett Favre and Tom Brady.
"When someone with the experience of him calls and says were interested, it's a big deal. At least to me," said SMU commitment Ben Gottschalk. Gottschalk is the Scout.com No. 62 offensive tackle in the country. He fielded offers from Kansas, Colorado State, Nevada, and Iowa State before pulling the trigger for SMU. From the start, Gottschalk was recruited by the SMU offensive line coach, eventually becoming his first big-time commitment.
"Coach Klemm is probably the most compatible coach I have met. He has the a good sense of humor and knows what he's doing," said Gottschalk.
Klemm was the 46th overall selection in the 2000 NFL Draft after a standout career as a four-year starter at Hawaii. He played under Coach June Jones during his senior season (1999), and was a part of the biggest turnaround in NCAA history, as Hawaii improved from 0-12 to 9-4. Following the season, Klemm was selected as the starting left tackle at the Senior Bowl and also earned invitations to the East-West Shrine Game and the Hula Bowl.
Klemm took a squad of mostly sophomores this year, who were struggling early in the season, and changed them drastically from beginning to end.
"One thing I liked about Coach Klemm this season was his focus on being aggressive and 'imposing our will' upon anyone that played across from us," said sophomore Bryce Tennison. "With most of us already having a year of experience under our belts, he didn't have to spend too much time teaching us technique, so this allowed him to work on our aggressiveness."
"It was awesome learning from Coach Klemm this season. He knows what it takes to be the best. He's been in our shoes before, and does an excellent job prepping us each week for the upcoming opponent," stated freshman Joey Fontana.
With the departure of Emmanuel Sanders and Shawnbrey McNeal this season, the offensive line will even have to play better in 2010. Giving Padron more time in the pocket and backs bigger holes to run through. Something tells me they will.