AMHERST, NY (WKBW) — He may not have played for a Power 5 program, but Malcolm Koonce sure looks like he did.
He's a guy with a lot of grit and "dog mentality".
"A dude that's every day trying to get better," Koonce said about himself. "A guy that's intrigued and interested in getting better and just wants to win."
The former UB defensive end is ready to take his talents to the NFL. He had the option of going pro after his junior season but chose to come back for one more year.
"I knew I had to have another season of showing I can be consistent, like it's not just a splash season of oh I'm nice this year and I fall off the next year," he explained. "It's when you're consistent, it's when people look at you and think, oh this guy is special."
And he put up special numbers in the 2nd half of his career which included 63 tackles, 14 sacks, and three forced fumbles. He's explosive, he's quick, but he still has a lot to learn.
"I think one of the main things that's my main focus on right now is focusing on my pad level and playing with a good athletic football position and stuff like that," said Koonce.
He's ready to get better and analysts see his potential. ESPN's Mel Kiper lists Koonce as one of his favorite outside linebackers and predicted him going 41st overall in his latest mock draft. But don't think for a second Koonce cares about any of that. He's just here to work toward his dream.
"I don't really talk to people about what round I'm gonna go in," he said. "That's not really important to me. It's just about getting to the NFL. That's what's more important to me."