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Kuechly leads local draft prospects' visit to PBS

Posted Apr 17, 2012


From L to R (all from La Salle High School): ILB J.K. Schaffer, Cincinnati; T Chandler Burden, Kentucky; DE Ben Martin, Tennessee; WR Devier Posey, Ohio State; TE Garrett Celek, Michigan State.


RELATED: Photo Gallery of local prospects at Paul Brown Stadium

Updated: 3:50 p.m.

Luke Kuechly is a man on the move, and as he scrambled out of Paul Brown Stadium on Tuesday he reflected on what it would be like to return 10 days later as a hometown Bengal.

"Cool. That would be cool," Kuechly said he hurried to CVG to wing to yet another visit to an NFL city.

Kuechly is the picture of cool as the Cincinnati St. Xavier High School grad enters the most hectic week of his life as the draft's highest-rated middle linebacker. The consensus is he won't get past Philadelphia at No. 15 if he does slip by Kansas City at 11 and Seattle at 12.

And only one of the 22 mock drafts highlighted on Bengals.com has Kuechly returning to town. Foxsports.com has him coming to Cincinnati with the 21st pick, the Bengals second in the first round.

"I don't pay too much attention to that stuff," Kuechly said. "You could get frustrated. 'I could be here, I could be there.' You just have to wait to see what happens."

What has happened already is that Kuechly has become a slam-dunk-top-of-the-first-round pick after his steel-belted career at Boston College. The 6-2, 237-pounder has wowed with his brains and instincts and if he's not a Pro Bowler then he's an NFL starter for a dozen years.

On Tuesday he was one of 24 local prospects the Bengals brought into PBS in preparation for the April 26-28 draft. Not only are the Bengals allowed to bring in up to 30 of the top prospects, they can also use Tuesday's local day to drill prospects that played their college or high school ball in the Cincinnati metro area.

Kuechly qualifies on both counts but came in Tuesday and joined the others in going through football drills on the PBS practice fields. Kuechly, who grew up in Evendale, wasn't a stranger.

"We played here my junior and senior years and won both games, but this is my first time seeing the entire facility," Kuechly said. "It's a big place."

Kuechly grew up Bengals. He didn't have a favorite player, but linebacker was always his favorite position to watch.

"Brian Simmons. Dhani Jones. And they had Takeo Spikes for a while," Kuechly said. "It's the team you grew up watching. It's the team your buddies grew up watching."

Now the question is where they'll end up watching him.

Here is the list of the 24 players that worked out, followed by their college and by their high school, if local:

    --OL Chandler Burden, Kentucky (La Salle HS)
    --TE Garrett Celek, Michigan State (La Salle HS)
    --WR Chedrick Cherry, California-Pa. (Moeller HS)
    --TE Josh Chichester, Louisville (Lakota West HS)
    --QB Zach Collaros, Cincinnati
    --LS Tom DeTemple, Cincinnati (Moeller HS)
    --CB Reuben Haley, Cincinnati (Mt. Healthy HS)
    --DE Steve Hancock, Cincinnati
    --WR Tomaz Hilton, Cincinnati
    --LB Jamar Howard, Central Missouri State (Withrow HS)
    --DT John Hughes, Cincinnati
    --DE/LB Grant Hunter, Butler (Lakota West HS)
    --LB Luke Kuechly, Boston College (St. Xavier HS)
    --DE/LB Ben Martin, Tennessee (La Salle HS)
    --C Randy Martinez, Cincinnati
    --S Patrick McClellan, Eastern Kentucky (Moeller HS)
    --WR Devier Posey, Ohio State (La Salle HS)
    --S Wesley Richardson, Cincinnati
    --LB J.K. Schaffer, Cincinnati (La Salle HS)
    --DE Monte Taylor, Cincinnati
    --DE Stephen Trigg, Cincinnati
    --WR Stan Warrenhuffman, Campbellsville (Mt. Healthy HS)
    --WR Orion Woodard, Cincinnati
    --WR D.J. Woods, Cincinnati

 Last week the Bengals worked out Cincinnati running back Isaiah Pead when he had another visit that conflicted with Tuesday's workout.

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