Will Kennard visit Texas?

The Texas Longhorns are looking to close out their 2009 recruiting class with a big bang. If the Longhorns are to make national noise in the closing months before signing day in February, getting five-star prospect Devon Kennard to Austin on an official visit is paramount. As of Wednesday, Kennard has yet to schedule a return trip to Texas.

The Texas Longhorns have been in hot pursuit of Desert Vista defensive end Devon Kennard for well over a year. While the Longhorns have had Kennard on their campus unofficially, getting a return trip for an official visit is the key if Texas is to have any realistic chance to land the five-star recruit.

Having already visited California and USC coming up on December 12, the question remains whether the Longhorns will get the pass rushing terror back to Austin before he makes a decision. Kennard's brother, Derek Kennard Jr., says the visit to Texas hasn't been set up, but they are working on a date.

"Devon's already been to Cal (November 21) and he has USC on December 12," Kennard Jr. said, "We're trying to set up a visit to Texas too. It could be on December 19, but I doubt it. It could be in January. We're not sure yet."

Kennard, the #12 prospect in the 2009 class, is being recruited by each of his top three schools at different position as far as scheme and how he will be used. Derek Kennard Jr. says each school has their positives within the scheme Devon would play in.

"Cal is a little different. They play a 3-4 and want him to play a rush linebacker position. He would be playing on the edge rushing the passer, but would also drop in coverage a little. USC wants him as a base end, which he would use his explosiveness off the ball. He would be used as a rusher, but also have to play the run. Texas wants to use him as a "Buck" defensive end. They are a 4-3, but his responsibilities would be using his explosiveness off the ball as well as dropping in coverage at times. They all have their positives," said Kennard Jr.

As decision time draws near, the ultra talented prospect is focusing on a few factors that will weigh heavily on his eventual decision.

"First of all, he (Devon) has to be comfortable with the area. He also has to be comfortable with the guys on the team that will be his teammates. Academics are also a key factor for him. On top of that, the opportunity to play and make an impact is important. Different schools have different schemes and he has to look at that," Kennard Jr. said.

Along with several key factors, the decision to stay close to home or spread one's wings is always the toughest decision. With that being said, it appears as if Kennard will be leaving his home state to play college football.

"The Pac-10 is great for him with what he does as a player. The Big 12, I think that is the conference Texas is in, is throwing the ball a lot now too and that would be a good fit for him. I don't think he wants to stay at home, but he does want to stay close to home," said Kennard Jr.

The 6-3, 255-pound end is currently grinding through the rehab process on a daily basis after an ACL tear early in his senior season. The goal is to return with the same speed and explosiveness that earned him his lofty national ranking and offers from coast-to-coast.

"He'll start jogging in mid-December. He's walking without crutches and is rehabbing every day. He's on schedule. Devon wants to keep improving his speed and explosiveness. He just needs to tighten up some screws and bolts. He knows he has to step his game up in all areas." Kennard Jr. said.

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