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Draft Q&A: Khalil Mack

Posted Mar 13, 2014

A Q&A with on Khalil Mack with Buffalo head coach Jeff Quinn.

PHOTOS: Khalil Mack at Buffalo
READ: Mack's road to being a top prospect
VIDEO: Mack's highlights at Buffalo
AUDIO: Texans 24 Hour Radio Podcast

As part of our Texans 'On the Clock' draft profiles, we reached out to various media members and coaches who covered the featured prospect. In this week's installment we sat down with Buffalo head coach Jeff Quinn.

HoustonTexans.com: What are you most proud about Khalil when you look back at his career?

Quinn: The thing that you’re most proud of is the way he followed the plan. Four years ago in 2010 he was here as a young freshman, was redshirted, we knew he had a lot of skills and ability as an athlete but what he did was follow the plan of development, went to work every day and you knew by his actions on the field and of the field that football was important.

Once we started to see him add a little weight, he was only 215 pounds when he was a true freshman, we were able to get him up to 250 pounds. Our strength program did a great job and what you saw in the combine was a culmination of  a lot of hard work and dedication. He’s a passionate young man but what you love about him is he’s very humble. He’s a quality young man, he’s a man of faith. He comes from a great family.

His parents are outstanding and last year I said that was our best recruit we resigned. He was a junior maybe looking at getting out, so it was great to have him back for his last year.

HoustonTexans.com: What is Khalil like on a day to day basis? What did you learn about him being around him?

Quinn: I think what I learned about him is just everyday there was a look on his face. I like to read body language and look in a man’s eyes and see what’s going on in there. You can just tell he was just kind of like a sponge. You can tell he was learning the position, he was learning the sport, he was learning the game.

We talk a lot about intellectual development, football intelligence. He was in watching film, studying, not only himself and his position but other players, great players. You could see that he wanted to become a student of the game. His playmaking ability was increasing day by day.

There were times this year we saw 2, 3, 4 guys at each play trying to block him. What he learned from us is that we had the plan. I spent 26 years as an assistant coach, 21 seasons as an assistant coach with Brian Kelly, head coach at Notre Dame. The two of us developed over the course of time a system.

We have a way to get out kids developed and when you bring in good players like Khalil and you have a plan, these kids are blessed with a lot of ability and we were able to get him where he is today and now he certainly knows what he’s capable of doing, it’s exciting for me, our staff, our players, his teammates, his entire university and the entire area that he’s got a chance to be an early announcement come the NFL draft. That’s what I saw early on and you could just see it grow day by day.

HoustonTexans.com: What's it like to see Khalil blossom to this point?

Quinn: He’s the best. It’s such a great story for kids out there and for people out there, coaches and fans and family and friends. Here’s a young man who had one 1A offer. You see that when you have something special inside you, as Khalil does, all it takes is one opportunity.

What you see now is a guy that is committed to being a complete football player. He’s a complete person; he’s a complete football player. He studies and he loves to be disruptive on the other side of the ball. He not only holds one record but two NCAA records.

It’s just amazing. It’s a great story and it provides hope for everybody out there that has those thoughts and that passion for being a great student-athlete collegiate player. For him to be able to be that kind of complete football player is gonna be a welcomed opportunity for any NFL team.

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