When Benny Snell signed with Kentucky in February of 2016, Benny Snell was the only person that believed Benny Snell would be Kentucky’s all-time leading rusher.
Snell became a Wildcat shortly after one other highly-touted running back got away. When Madison Southern’s Damien Harris picked Alabama over Kentucky, many believed UK missed out on a once in a generation running back. Snell saw it as the perfect opportunity.
“I did hear about that. I knew Damien Harris was here. I remember watching his highlights and everything. I’m like, ‘This kid’s pretty good,'” Snell said on KSR. “He goes to Alabama and then the spotlight opened for the running back. Who’s going to be next? Yeah, that’s definitely going to be me. I’m definitely taking over this role.”
Mark Stoops and Vince Marrow pitched Snell a vision at Kentucky. He wasted no time turning that vision into a reality.
“How is Benny Snell going to make his name to be able to be the starting running back as soon as I get here as soon as possible? That was my No. 1 plan,” said Benny.
Snell was prepared to make plays right away, but Eddie Gran made him wait his turn behind JoJo Kemp and Boom Williams.
“It was heartbreaking because I was just so used to playing every year. It’s hard for freshmen.” So he took matters into his own hands.
“I was on every single special team — punt, punt return, kickoff, kick return. I had four tackles before I even got a handoff. I’m running down on kickoff getting tackles before I ever got a handoff.”
Once he got his first handoff, he never looked back. Snell scored a school record four touchdowns in his debut against New Mexico State, the first of many record-breaking performances. Snell succeeded in the Kentucky spotlight and achieved his goals the old fashioned way.
“I’m proud because I put the work in for my spot and I deserved it.”