We continue our countdown of the Five Biggest Disappointments of the 2006 season with a true freshman, Sergio Kindle. Normally, disappointment is reserved for kids who've been in the program for more than one season, but the expectations surrounding Kindle were far from normal, and by all accounts, appropriately so.
Kindle, a former prep running back and linebacker star, was expected to come in and provide key minutes for the Longhorns right away. When our guest recruiting writers profiled Kindle over the summer, they wrote:
Kindle will make an impact as a freshman. Most experts agree that he will probably start at OLB from the get-go and only improve as the season progresses.
Unfortunately, Kindle suffered a high ankle sprain before the season began, missed the first two games from the injury, peaked with an 11 tackle performance against Sam Houston State, and finished with a mere 20 tackles for the entire season. During a year in which linebacking help was desperately needed, Kindle never emerged as a key contributor. That, I'm sorry to say, was a big disappointment.
It's not entirely clear whether the ankle injury, the coaches, or poor play was the biggest factor in Kindle's disappointing 2006 season, but disappointing it was. He should have every opportunity to win a starting spot in next year's linebacking group, and lofty expectations will likely surround him heading into 2007, as well.