"My offensive line coach played for Coach Kirlav at Cardinal Brennan High School when Kirlav was the head coach there," he related. "So when he came in to visit, they knew each other, and that made it a little easier. Also, one of the nuns at our high school, Sister Sue, taught there. So when Coach Kirlav came in, you could hear them all the way down the hall yelling at each other and talking back and forth. It was really funny.
"That was a real relief to have a guy like that recruiting me," Kinder said of WVU's defensive line mentor. "I like him a lot. He's like my family is. We're all upbeat guys, we tell jokes and don't let anyone get the big head. He's definitely one of the reasons why I came. He's just a no BS guy. He told me straight up, how thing were, and how things are at West Virginia, and I really liked that."
With that tie established, Kindler also spent time during the recruiting process getting to know his potential position coach, David Johnson.
"I talked to Coach Johnson a lot. I was able to spend a good amount of time with him on Monday with just my brother, him and me. He told me his philosophies and how he coaches; what he expects from his players and how they should act. He's a down to earth guy."
Kindler had one other tie to WVU, which has long been discussed in his family.
"My cousins both go to West Virginia, and we've always joked around about me going there. I have always thought going to West Virginia would be pretty sweet. It would be awesome to get the chance to play there, with the chance to go to bowls and maybe even go to a national championship game. That's not the only reason I chose West Virginia, but after following them for a while it's cool that it's happening. I'm really fortunate to get the offer from them, and I am really happy about going there.
Kindler was accompanied by his older brother Joe on his visit, who also played high school football but did not continue with the sport in college. His oldest brother, Steve, currently plays at Mercyhurst College in Erie, Penn. Both players, along with his father, played a role in the recruiting process.
"I talked with them all about a lot of different things. Steve talked to me some about the recruiting process some, and having Joe with me on my visit was good. With my dad, he went with me on some of my visits, and I was talking with him yesterday when I was making my decision. He was on the phone with me when I was talking to the coaches, and he had met them before when we went down during spring practice. He was really impressed with them when he met them before, and all of my family was 100% behind me and my decision.
"On my last visit, I went down on Monday with Joe, and we went around campus and hung out with the coaches. It was a really good trip, and it was more of a thing where I wanted to check out West Virginia one more time and being 100% sure that was where I wanted to go. I had narrowed it down to Illinois, Boston College and West Virginia, and I made trips to all of them over the past couple of weeks. I liked them all, but I always had West Virginia in my mind, and ended up comparing them to West Virginia. After I took this last trip, I just felt like West Virginia was the place for me, and that it was the right time to go ahead and commit. So I talked with my dad about it again, and Thursday night after diner I called the coaches and committed."
Kindler, who also had offers from Maryland, Central Florida, Rutgers, Connecticut, Virginia and Miami (OH), might have garnered even more to this point had he not played on a torn ACL for his entire junior season.
"I played the whole season with it, and then after season I had surgery in December. I think I could have had a few more offers if I hadn't had the injury, but to be honest I really haven't thought about that much. I was very pleased with the offers that I got. And who knows? If I hadn't gotten hurt, maybe I might have gotten hurt another way. You never know what's going to happen, and I don't think about that.
"Right now I'm approaching eight months [since the surgery]," he said. "It feels really good. I'm probably about 95 % right now. I hope in the next two weeks to be cleared and ready to play. Coach has talked about not playing me as much in scrimmages. He wants to see how I do in two a days. But he said he will have me ready to play both ways for the first game."
In addition to defending Trinity's undefeated record and league title, Kindler also has some individual improvement goals on his list for his upcoming senior season.
"I want to work on my lower body strength. A lot of that I've been doing already as part of my injury rehab. I've been working doing a lot of squats to improve power in my legs. I want to work on my quickness, too.
A tall player with the prototypical build of an offensive tackle, Kindler has two attributes that are the building blocks for any outside lineman.
"I have long arms, and I get off the ball pretty well. I'm also tenacious – that's something my coach tells me and encourages me on. When I get on someone I try to bury them. Being tallest guy on team, I still need to concentrate on staying low. A couple of my good friends who are playing college football wore me out on that when I was a sophomore. They showed me good techniques for staying low, but they beat me up pretty good while they were doing it."
Kindler, who is the fifth offensive commitment in West Virginia's class of 2009, isn't worried about being part of such a big group of players.
"I looked a little bit at the linemen and where they were committing too, but it wasn't a big issue," he related. "My dad told me that no matter where I go, I'm going to be competing against a lot of other guys, so it doesn't really matter how many are in my class."
A future criminology major, Kindler sees a future in law enforcement. He met with one of the members of WVU's forensics program, who took him through his cirruculum.
"Shee told me about the crime houses there and all the things they have in that program," he said. "I'm pretty excited about that."
Nick Kindler Profile