Wichita Force

Wild good fit for Kaufman

Surprisingly, there are prima donnas in the Indoor Football League, which pays $200 a game and offers little opportunity for true stardom.

Thankfully, there are also players like Brandon Kaufman.

"Brandon comes to practice, does his work and then gets back in his truck and goes home," Wichita Wild defensive coordinator Troy Black said. "He's a hunting-and-fishing kind of kid; does the old trout lines; sticks his hand in the hole in the river bank and all that stuff.

"That kind of kid."

Translation: Kaufman is low-maintenance.

Which isn't to say that the former Moundridge and Bethel College standout doesn't possess star qualities.

After joining the Indoor Football League team five games into the season, the rookie has steadily improved — so much so that he is expected to start at strong safety when the Wild plays at the Sioux Falls (S.D.) Storm in the conference championship game tonight.

In the Wild's playoff-opening victory over Bloomington, Kaufman recorded a team-high 11 tackles. And last week, in a Round 2 win over Rochester, he added four tackles and an interception.

"I'm not a lockdown corner, and I'm not a really big hitter," Kaufman said. "I just try to be assignment sound. When I started (with the Wild), everything was a blur. But there are only so many things an offense can do, and I'm starting to understand it a lot better."

Black said that Kaufman, the KCAC defensive player of the year in 2007, is valuable to the Wild because of his versatility; he has spent time at strong and free safety.

And, of course, because of that no-nonsense attitude.

"He's very intelligent, knows where he's supposed to be," Black said. "He's physical; he'll knock your face off. He plays hurt.

"He's just an old-school, hardnosed kid."