An Interview With Ken Wilkins

Submitted by Brian on May 14th, 2009 at 11:26 AM

PA LB/DE Ken Wilkins is a new offer of Michigan's radar from Washington Trinity, the same school that sent Andrew Sweat to Ohio State and Mike Yancich to Penn State. Wilkins' coach says he's more physically gifted than either, or just about anyone else:

"The sky is the limit for him. He's one of the most phenomenal, naturally gifted athletes I've ever been around. He was born with gifts that a lot of people couldn't imagine having."

Wilkins is strongly considering Michigan. Tom Van Haaren got the latest, but first some highlights:

TOM: I don't think a lot of people know about you yet, so tell me about yourself.

KEN: I’m really aggressive, and I’m pretty speedy. I can pretty much do anything on the field. I play a lot of positions. I play linebacker, defensive end, tight end, and quarterback sometimes. I’m just real versatile.

TOM: You live in Pennsylvania, so is the Midwest where you want to play college ball at?

KEN: Distance doesn’t matter to me. I just want to find the best fit for me. I’m going to check out all the schools, and see where I think I fit in the best.

TOM: You're 6'4" and 235 pounds, as a junior. Like you said you play LB, DE, and TE. What are you the best at? What position, and inside that position.

KEN: I’m best at defensive end. I have a real quick first step, and I have a nose for the ball. I can play that hybrid role, the linebacker and defensive end role pretty well too. Schools say I could play both, but I think the hybrid role is best for me.

TOM: You're pretty fast for your size, is that something you've been focusing on, your speed?

KEN: I do parametric, and our school has a speed training coach. We work with him two times a week. I’m gaining weight pretty quick, so I want to keep my speed too. We just started doing that this year, but I can already tell the difference, it’s definitely helping. I can’t wait for next year when it really kicks in.

TOM: You've got offers from almost every school in the east and Midwest. How are you going to narrow this down?

KEN: I just want to see the area, the environment, and the school. What the whole school is about and the overall program. The biggest thing for me is the relationships with the coaches and players, and how I feel around them.

TOM: When do you plan on making your decision by?

KEN: Probably mid June or July. I just want to get it over with before my season starts, so I don’t have to focus on it anymore. I have enough offers that I can make my decision, and be done with it. Once I commit, that will be it.

TOM: Do you already have a good idea of a top 3?

KEN: I don’t really have a top list, but Michigan and Pitt are near top. Michigan was always my favorite team growing up. Coach Gibson has been coming in lately, and I’ve been getting to know him. I also have a good relationship with the Pitt coaches.

TOM: Where does Michigan factor into all this, are they near the top, or at the top?

KEN: If I had to name a leader I would say it is Michigan. Once I go up there, if I like it I’ll pull the trigger and commit. I’m talking to my uncle about it, and I think I’ll be up there in about two weeks. I think I fit what they’re trying to do right now, and the coaches that I do know are all great. Everything about Michigan is great, and I could definitely see myself there.

TOM: What do the coaches talk to you about? What is it that you like about them?

KEN: They’re really laid back. They’re like a good friend, and not a recruiter. I really like that they aren’t pressuring me about the school. Coach Gibson told me that all these schools are good, even if it’s not Michigan, they’re all 5 star hotels, it’s just which one you want to stay at. So it was nice to talk to someone who didn’t try to tell me what to do. He’s like a good friend.

TOM: I saw a play on your highlight film, where it actually looked like you ate someone. Are you one of those guys that just throws his body around, and loves to hit?

KEN: Yeah, I love to hit. I just always played defense, and I find the ball easy. It’s just fun to go out there and hit somebody.

TOM: Have you been in contact with any other recruits? What do they say?

KEN: I built a relationship with some guys from my area, Chad Hayden is one. Most of the guys around me, I’m trying to see if they’ll come with me and play with me.

Comments

chally

May 14th, 2009 at 11:49 AM ^

Looks like a good kid. Some of the clips remind me of Craig Roh. He has that combination of speed and leverage.

I'm glad to see kids getting excited about playing in hybrid defense positions. If Greg Robinson's schemes work out, that could be a useful selling point for us with some of the more talented athletes.

Don

May 14th, 2009 at 12:09 PM ^

Gotta come up with a better term than "spinner," esp. if he's eating people.

I'm on a Mac and the vid played fine. No audio, though.

Ziff72

May 14th, 2009 at 1:54 PM ^

As with many of our recruits it seems that he is a freak athlete who is awesome awesome awesome and then gets 3 stars. How bad does your technique have to be to be 6' 4" 225 and run like the wind and not get 4 stars?? Stars are based on potential right??? Silly

jg2112

May 14th, 2009 at 2:25 PM ^

...is May 15th. Perhaps we should wait a few months before getting concerned about a player's star rating.

I'd personally prefer he get downgraded to two stars, then commit to Michigan, become a freshman All-America, the lynchpin of our defense, and a Heisman Trophy winner. Then guess what? We'd all be over the moon about what Coach RichRod can do with two - star talent!!!!

Or, why don't we believe what our eyes tell us - the kid is good and would look good in the maize and blue, no matter what mythical star grade the kid gets.

Ziff72

May 14th, 2009 at 2:40 PM ^

You missed the sarcasm in my post, I'm not a big rankings guy just found it curious been happening a lot lately 5 stars Gardner, Miller and Robinson ending up 4 stars and so on. Looking at the tape and reading ESPN's take I can see why his rankings are lukewarm. He needs to keep working with the speed coach on agility he looked fast going in a straight line but his change of direction looked sluggish. He may be still suffering from the awkwardness of growing so fast 6'4" is huge at this point.

Lofter4

May 14th, 2009 at 2:21 PM ^

We're recruiting defensive players now? I was hoping we were trying a new defense where wide receivers play every defensive position. Dammit.

DeuceInTheDeuce

May 14th, 2009 at 3:29 PM ^

at 1:45: Sam blitz- keeps tight to force the QB to boot outside (stop the cutback), but doesn't allow himself to get hooked by the deep back. Sheds blocker and makes the play. Tough to teach HS kids to blitz under control.

P.S. Smart (though unathletic) corner support helps too.

Dave

May 14th, 2009 at 5:22 PM ^

..., other than this young man is interested in our program, is the note that Coach Gibson refused to speak poorly of other programs. I'm glad that's the case and that we've got a continuation of that aspect of our recruiting m.o.