Kennard Makes a Trip to El Paso

EL PASO, TEX. -- When the Longhorns blew out UTEP Saturday night, they did so in front of the nation's No. 1-ranked defensive end and one of their top targets for the class of 2009: Devon Kennard. The Desert Vista made the six hour drive from Phoenix to El Paso to see Texas play. Out in El Paso, Inside Texas caught up with Kennard.

It's a six hour drive from Phoenix to El Paso, but that didn't stop Devon Kennard from making to trip to see the Longhorns play.

"I'm definitely still interested in Texas. That's why I came out here," Kennard told Inside Texas.

The trip was actually the idea of Texas tight end Blaine Irby's family, who also live in Phoenix. Devon's older brother, Derek, is close friends with Blaine's older brother, Brian. Because of this, the Kennards and the Irbys put together a plan to meet up in El Paso for Texas' Saturday night game against UTEP.

"I'm friends with the whole Irby family and we started talking about going out to El Paso and seeing the game together," said Kennard.

Once at the game, the Kennards and Irbys witnessed a blowout, as the Texas Longhorns rolled past UTEP, 42-13. Despite the score, the Horns did have a few issues and defensive breakdowns during the game, including a few long pass plays, but Kennard was primarily focused on watching the defensive line. Kennard told IT he was very pleased with what he saw.

"Texas did awesome. I like what they did with their defensive line and they did really well. Orakpo was especially awesome," said Kennard.

There's a reason why he spent so much time focusing on Orakpo. It's because the senior plays a position that Kennard might play in college.

"Texas wants me to play that 'Buck' (combo DE-LB) position that Orakpo plays where they said they can take advantage of my athleticism," said Kennard.

Amongst Kennard's four remaining favorites in recruiting, California is also recruiting him at a similar style position, while USC, UCLA and Arizona State want him at the more traditional DE.

Because Texas wants him to play a position that slightly varies from what he's played in high school, Kennard felt it was important that he see at least one Texas game in person this season. Because of his schedule, the Longhorns' win over UTEP is probably the only Texas game he'll be present for in 2008 -- Kennard and his Desert Vista teammates actually played a game Friday night in Phoenix and he still made the trip. However, he does plan on taking an official after his high school season is over and doesn't plan on committing to any school until after he's taken that visit and his officials to his other four favorites. That means it'll be close to Signing Day 2009 before we find out where the nation's top DE is headed.

When asked what the decision will come down to, Kennard said it will most likely be a where he feels most comfortable.

"A place where I feel right and enjoy living and want to give them everything on the field," said Kennard.

There were plenty of people on Saturday night who were telling him that place is Texas. The seats that Kennard and his brother purchased were amongst a group of Texas fans, many of whom recognized the DE and started putting on the recruiting pitch.

"Yeah, people were asking me if I was Devon Kennard and saying I should come to Texas," said Kennard. "That's awesome that they've got such a great fan base that supports their team so well."

Along with comfort-level and the fan base, Kennard also mentioned that academics are very important to him. It makes sense, given that the Desert Vista senior holds a 3.96 GPA and only has a single B in high 89.7 that wasn't rounded up. He's not certain yet what he wants to study when he gets to college, but does have an idea.

"I'm still not sure, but I was thinking business or something along those lines. We'll see," said Kennard.

For now, it's 'we'll see' for college football fans waiting to find out where Kennard will play his college ball, but the Horns are definitely in the picture.

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