Recruiting: Killebrew focused on season

For <B>Robert Killebrew</b>, the recruiting process has taken a backseat to "team goals", which primarily consists of getting the Klein Bearkats of Spring, Texas to the playoffs. It is that focus and selflessness exemplified by the state's top linebacking prospect that has endeared him to some of the top programs in the country. Last year's district 15-5A co-defensive MVP isn't even aware of his stats this season, because individual stats do not necessarily translate into Ws. has Killebrew, a 4-star recruit, rated as the nation's sixth-best LB and IT caught up with him Sunday night.

IT: Need to get an update on your vitals.

RK: HT -- 6-2

WT -- 205

40 -- 4.5

Vert. -- 39"

Bench -- 365

Squat -- 365

Power Clean -- 305

Incline Bench -- 235

IT: Can you give me a top 5?

RK: I'm not eliminating anyone, right now. I just want to concentrate on my season. Picking a leader or a top 5 is the last thing on my mind. I'm trying to get my team to the playoffs.

IT: Who is recruiting you the hardest?

RK: They're all pretty much the same, right now. I get a lot of mail from Oklahoma, Texas, Florida, UCLA, Arizona, Arizona State; I'm getting a lot of mail from everybody, can't really think of anybody else. I'm serious man, I ain't kidding, this is not a lie. I'm really trying to get my team to the playoffs and recruiting is the last thing on my mind.

IT: What skills make you a highly sought-after prospect?

RK: Speed is No. 1. I mean, my speed, tenacity...mostly, a player who likes to play the game...a guy whose motor never stops. I just like to hit somebody before the play's over. And I got hit a couple of times, you know, knocked out here and there, but that's football. I just enjoy running around hitting people.

IT: So you've been knocked out a couple times and knocked some people out yourself?

RK: Yeah...I mean, everybody's trying to headhunt know, everybody's trying to make a name for themselves...everybody's trying to take some cheap shots. So, you know...I take 'em and I get up, shake 'em off, and go back and play the next down.

IT: Have you played any linebacker this year?

RK: No, just defensive end. You know, that's where my team needs me, so that's where I play.

IT: Between Florida, Texas, OU and UCLA, are any of those schools recruiting you as a DE?

RK: No.

IT: And are those schools recruiting you as a WLB?

RK: UCLA used the term inside linebacker.

IT: Is UCLA using a 3-4 defense?

RK: I'm not sure, really. When I get a chance, I'll sit down and look at the defenses and see what schemes best fit me.

IT: What are your thoughts regarding UT's academic program?

RK: In general, it's a good school and it's a very hard school to get into. I feel that if you go to Texas you have a lot of weight in the business world. You know, if you can write down on an application that you graduated from UT.

IT: Are you familiar with any of the current players on the Texas football team?

RK: Sloan (Thomas) went to the same school I'm going to, but I was a freshman then. We might have said hello once or twice, but that's about it. And I know Selvin Young from running track. I saw him a couple times on the track circuit.

IT: What coaches from Texas have you talked with?

RK: I've talked to Coach Drake, Coach Brown, Coach Reese and Coach Maddog. Actually, I drove down there and visited unofficially with Texas so I was able to sit down and talk to all of the coaches.

IT: Who's the coach recruiting you?

RK: Coach Drake (wide receivers coach).

IT: Have you had an opportunity to catch any Longhorn games on the tube?

RK: Yeah, I watch them when I get a chance.

IT: What was the last game you saw and what did you think about the defense?

RK: I saw the Iowa State game and personally, the only difference is the speed of the game and that's it. Nobody made any plays I couldn't make. Nobody made any tackles I couldn't have made. Nobody did anything that, I think, as a player I couldn't have done. I mean, I would have to get accustomed to the speed of the game, you know, the reaction time.

IT: So you felt that you could come in and play right away?

RK: Yes, that's exactly how I felt.

IT: Is there a chance you could commit to a school before taking all five of your official visits?

RK: I will definitely take all five visits, I mean, you have to. You have to see if you get along with the coaches and the players and see how you interact with each other.

IT: Do you see yourself making a decision immediately after your fifth and final visit or waiting until National Signing Day?

RK: I'm going to have to say that I'll probably commit at the last possible second. I'm trying to make a business decision and not an emotional decision. I want to weigh all of my options so, if I have to wait until the last minute or the last hour to make my final decision, then that's what I'm going to do.

IT: When I last spoke to you and Coach Kenjura, (LB) Josh Mize* was coming along just fine. How is Mize doing now?

RK: He's doing good, he's looking good and he's making plays. He's a hundred percent. Me and him have the same problem in that we're both trying to make every play. We need to tone it down a little. Even if Josh and I don't make the play, our defense is pretty well off and can make the play, so we're (the defense) good.

* Josh Mize was such a standout linebacker before tearing his ACL last year that Coach Ray Kenjura moved Killebrew to DE. Also, Mize was on varsity as a sophomore, even making all-district at LB, while Killebrew remained on JV. His return to good health is something many people close to the Klein football program have been especially tickled about. Scholarship offers have remained off the table, though, for the senior LB until a full recovery becomes apparent. Coach Kenjura and Killebrew's teammates are extremely pleased with Mize's progress.

Stacey Dean covered recruiting in the state of Texas for Horns Illustrated before joining Inside Texas. His prospect updates will appear frequently on

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