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Cyrus Kouandjio not reading press clippings

Focusing only on improving game. Jason Butt

Print This May 05, 2014, 03:39 PM EST

Former Alabama left tackle Cyrus Kouandjio has seen his stock move up and down by various draft prognosticators.

He's been pegged to go as high as the mid-first round to falling into the second round. For Kouandjio, he's staying away from the projections and analysis. He had to do so at the high-profile collegiate program at Alabama and he'll do so again.

“I’m wired different, so I see it all as a challenge,” Kouandjio told The Washington Post. “Whatever they’re saying, I made a decision a long time ago that I’m not going to let my knee or what people say have power over my football career. I did it then, and I’m going to do it again.”

Heading into Kouandjio's junior season in 2013, the tackle said he'd regularly see articles praising him for his on-field abilities. Instead of buying into the hype, Kouandjio shut himself off from the media then to keep himself level-headed.

“[The news] had too much control on my life,” Kouandjio said. “If it was a good thing, I think, ‘Oh, I’m the truth,’ and it gives you a sense of pride. If it was bad, it might bring me down. I didn’t feel like all my attention was on football.”

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