Even before Devon Kennard arrived at USC at a highly regarded prospect, he had an appreciation of how quickly a career can be derailed by injury. He blew out his knee as a high school senior, and it was a reality check for him. "At the time I hated it, but I learned a lot from it," Kennard says.

At USC, he became a captain and posted the team's best grade-point average. Now he is projected to be a late-round draft pick in the NFL, where his dad, Derrick, played for 11 seasons as an offensive lineman. That pedigree and his leadership skills have draft analysts touting his intangibles, which sometimes make the all difference.

Here's more on Kennard's football journey, in his own words:

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