Killens Getting Very Familiar with Texas

Living so close to Austin, Round Rock McNeil LB Kurt Killens has been able to go to a lot of Texas games. However, the 2010 target has seen few that impressed him more than the Saturday's hard-fought win over Oklahoma State.

Unlike his last visit to see the Texas Longhorns in action, this time Kurt Killens got all of the football excitement he could handle.

Also on hand the previous week for the Longhorns' less than thrilling 25-point win over Missouri, the junior linebacker from Round Rock McNeil was one of the 98,000-plus that watched live as Curtis Brown's deflection of a Zac Robinson pass with no time remaining on the game clock sealed Texas' 28-24 victory over Oklahoma State.

"I had a great time, and it was exhilarating to say the least," Killens said. "It was a lot better than the Missouri game because they whipped up on Missouri pretty good. It was exciting to see it come down to the wire and it was cool to see them come out with a win."

Killens was one of several 2010 prospects from Central Texas one hand to see the Longhorns' victory. Pflugerville defensive tackle Tyrus Thompson, Cedar Park offensive lineman Dominic Espinoza and Bowie receiver DeAndre Perry were all among the Longhorn invitees.

Being from Round Rock, Killens, one of the state's top linebacker prospects in the Class of 2010, has had plenty of chances to see the Longhorns in person. He attended several home games last season, but the arrival of defensive coordinator Will Muschamp has allowed Killens to see a different side of the Texas program, especially on the defensive side of the ball.

"It's totally different from last year," Killens said. "It seems like after (Gene) Chizik left that they had kind of bend-but-don't-break mentality. It didn't seem that passionate. Coach Muschamp has been great for the defense. It's fun to watch and they're definitely hitting a lot harder for sure."

Could Killens see himself playing for Muschamp in a few seasons?

"I could, he's a great coach" Killens said.

However, Longhorn fans don't need to jump the gun.

"He's a great coach, but right now I'm really just trying to keep my options open," Killens said. "I want to take a look at all the different options that are available. I've got to meet him a good couple of times, and he's a great coach and a great guy."

Killens is already starting to see some of his options open up. Stanford has already requested his transcripts and could be close to offering and Colorado has sent some information his way about a possible offer. Other schools showing heavy interest toward Killens (other than the Longhorns, Cardinal and Buffaloes) are LSU, Texas Tech, Texas A&M and SMU.

At 6-foot-3 and around 210 pounds with 4.7 speed, Killens is also very instinctive, explosive tackler. His on-field production has helped McNeil stay in the thick of the playoff race in a tough District 16-5A. Through six games this season Killens has racked up approximately 71 tackles, five tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles and two sacks.

"My season is going great," Killens said. "I'm doing my best, going out there and busting my tail and doing whatever I can contribute to help my team win."

McNeil has won their share of games this season, getting off to a 2-0 start, but its season was derailed after Hurricane Ike forced the suspension and eventual cancellation of the game against Bryan. The cancellation accompanied with an open date forced McNeil to go three weeks between games, opening 16-5A play with a loss to Round Rock.

"There's no excuses, obviously, but I think (the layoff) hurt us," Killens said.

The Mavericks rallied to win back to back games against Cedar Park and Vista Ridge before falling this past Friday to Westwood.

"It's a downer," Killens said. "But we are going to bounce back for our last two games against Georgetown and Leander and try and get into the playoffs, and we have a great shot to do it."

Trying to balance football, all of the other academic and social pressures that go with being a high school junior and the recruiting process can be a lot to undertake, but Killens sees it in a positive light.

"It's a privilege and I've never really look at it as something I couldn't do or something that was difficult," Killens said. "It's kind of like my dad says, 'to whom much is given, much is owed.' You just go do it, it's not a big deal, and you step up and do it if you want to fulfill your dream."

Killens says he next plans on seeing the Longhorns in action on Thanksgiving night, Nov. 27 against Texas A&M.

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