Kenny Vaccaro shines in NFL

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Former 2013 first-round draft pick Kenny Vaccaro is on pace for a career high in tackles this season. During the Saints’ victory over the Colts on Sunday, Vaccaro recorded five tackles, including his first sack of the season. Just six games into the season, Vaccaro has already totaled 44 tackles. With nine games to go, Vaccaro expects to surpass his previous marks of 74 tackles in 2014 and 79 in 2013.

Vaccaro attributes much of his recent success to overcoming a rash of injuries. At the end of his rookie season, Vaccaro injured his ankle. He returned to the field four months later for what was considered a year-and-a-half-long recovery process. The injury continued to bother Vaccaro for months, and in his first game of 2014, Vaccaro tore his hamstring. He then suffered a quad injury that was never officially reported and continued to trouble him through the season.

“I’m one of those guys that’s going to be hard to sit on the bench,” Vaccaro said. “I’m going to play through any type of injury so I can be on the field.”

Vaccaro played safety for the Longhorns from 2009 to 2012. His brother Kevin, now a Texas safety, has 15 tackles this season. Kenny Vaccaro was a defensive captain at Texas alongside Alex Okafor. He was also a first-team All-American his senior year.