Checking in With Cowboys DE Target

Hampton defensive end Kendall Langford played in both the East-West Shrine Game and the Senior Bowl, impressing scouts with his size and raw talent. He also has seen significant interest from the Dallas Cowboys.

Ed Thompson:  Coming out as a smaller-school guy, did you feel like you had a lot to prove at the Senior Bowl?

Kendall Langford: I think I had something to prove because of the fact that people think just because I come from a small, black college that I can't compete with the bigger schools.  I think I showed that I could compete with the bigger competition and cream-of-the-crop competition in the nation.  I think I established myself well.

Thompson:  Do you think it helped that some other Hampton alumni have been chosen higher in the draft in recent years?

Langford: I think anytime you have some positive things going on, like Justin Durant getting drafted to the Jags last year, that can't do anything but help your school.

Thompson:  What do you think you gained through your Senior Bowl experience?

Langford: I think I showed them that I can compete with the best in the nation and that I'm one of the top players at my position.  I think I also showed them that I'm a fellow competitor, that I'm hungry.

Thompson:  What do you think your strengths are against the run verses the pass?

Langford: I think I play the run very well.  I think I also rush the passer very well, I just need to work on my technique.  I'm raw and technique can coached to be whatever a team needs, so I don't think technique will be a problem when I get to the next level.

Kendall Langford ready to smother another ball carrier.
Hampton Athletics

Thompson:  Tell me about your visit with the Pittsburgh Steelers...

Langford: Once I left the airport, they had a chauffeur pick me up and drive me to their workout facilities.  During my ride to the facility they gave me a little information about the town, the history, what goes on, and about the fans.  Once I got there, I liked every coach, player, and personnel member I dealt with, starting with the head coach and all the way down to the position coach giving me a tour of the facility. It's a beautiful facility.

Thompson: What was your impression of head coach Mike Tomlin?

Langford:  I think he's a cool, laid-back guy.  There's just something about him. I don't know where it's from, but when he talks to you it's like he's motivating you for something.

Thompson:  What did they want to know about you?

Langford: What makes me tick, what I like, how do I like to be coached — can it be a little hard coaching or what kind of coaching I respond best to.

Thompson:  Did they give you an indication of how they see you fitting into their defensive scheme?

Langford: They said I fit into their scheme well.  They showed me some great statistics they have from over the years — I think it was the last fifteen years — but they were unbelievable.  I would have never known that if they had never shown me.

Thompson:  Some stats about their defensive ends?

Langford: Their D-line and defense period.  It's crazy.

Thompson:  How did Minnesota handle the whole day and how did it differ from what you experienced at Pittsburgh?

Langford: There were like 27 people there for the Minnesota visit. In Pittsburgh, there were only two other players -- Big Red Bryant from Texas A&M and Gosder (Cherilus) from Boston College. When I got to Minnesota we first met with the coaches and then ate lunch.  After that I went to my physical to get my weight and all that.  They showed me the facility, toured me around, and after that we left and went to the hotel for some down time before a big dinner with all the coaches and personnel people.  We ate and they talked a little bit and that was it.

A lineman grabs Kendall Langford's jersey out of desperation.
Hampton Athletics

Thompson:  Did they put a bunch of you at a table with one or two coaches?

Langford: Yeah.

Thompson:  Who did you get to sit and chat with?

Langford:  Unfortunately, I was sitting with two wide receiver coaches.  I didn't know that's how they were going to do it. I thought the coaches were going to sit together.  Andre Caldwell and Devin Thomas, we've been working out together, so we were sitting together and two wide receiver coaches sat there. Also at our table was Keilen Dykes D-tackle from West Virginia.  I played with him in the East-West Shrine Game, he was on my team.

Thompson:  Compare the amount of one-on-one time you got to have with coaches at Pittsburgh and Minnesota.

Langford: Actually, I met with the coaches in Minnesota more than I did in Pittsburgh.  It was the simple fact that we went through that whole process, then at the dinner, they were serving hors d'oeuvres and drinks and you could talk to the coaches for about an hour. And then they got to the actual dinner. 

Thompson:  You went to Detroit as well. Talk about that experience. 

Langford:  I got there, ate breakfast, met with coaches and player personnel people and all the office people.  Went to lunch and they showed me a tour of the facility.  In Detroit I sat in on a defensive line meeting after they had finished running and doing their workout.  I had a meeting with the coaches where they were going over film from what they were doing the previous week and that's about it.  That was cool because he was coaching them up and I could see what they were doing and what types of drills they were doing.  I talked to them a lot.

Thompson:  What are you going to do with your down time until the draft?

Langford:  Working out and counting days.

Thompson:  What are you going to be doing draft weekend?

Langford:  I'm going to be with my family just watching the draft.  No party, just watching TV.

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