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Posted by Kevin Bowen on February 25, 2013 – 12:31 pm

Kawann Short’s introduction to many sports fans around the state of Indiana did not come on the gridiron.

As a junior forward on East Chicago Central’s 2007 State Championship basketball squad, the nimble, 300-pound Short poured in 20 points and 10 rebounds helping the Cardinals to an 87-83 Class 4A Title over the Eric Gordon-led North Central Panthers.

Short’s future in sports would transfer back over to the football field and the former Purdue defensive tackle was back in Indianapolis this past week for the NFL Combine.

On Saturday, Short weight in at 299 pounds which is a number that he said he hasn’t seen since junior high.

“I feel more versatile now,” Short said of the weight loss. “My conditioning is way better than it used to be. I can play a lot more, I can run a lot more, and I can hustle. So that was the main thing I was trying to do, just find a weight I was comfortable at, and keep going at that.

As a four-year starter on the interior of the Boilermakers defensive line, Short was a force with 49 tackles for loss and 19.5 sacks.

Following the 2012 season, Short participated in the 2013 Senior Bowl and left with one focus in trying to establish himself as a first-round pick come April.

“My whole goal going into the Senior Bowl was just being consistent,” Short said.

“That was one of the main things that I was focused on, and getting feedback from the NFL, and from the different coaches that – my motor tends to die out. So my whole goal was to drop a little bit of weight, go into the Senior Bowl and try to be a guy that stands out.”

A hamstring injury held Short out of the drills at this week’s combine but he is expected to be a full participant at Purdue’s Pro Day on March 25.

Purdue has had a recent history of producing dominant defensive linemen that have gone on to be productive in the NFL.

Short is looking to continue that trend and took another step in that direction with a productive week in the city where his name gained recognition a little less than six years ago.

“First impressions are everything,” Short said. “I had a couple of months off to get my body right, and get back in shape and come out there and do what I needed to do.”

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