In less than 20 football games, Benny Snell has proved to be one of the best running backs to ever wear a Kentucky uniform. You can point to many reasons that make Benny one of the best. The source of his success is in his heart (and that’s not a metaphor).
Snell’s numbers speak volumes. He’s two touchdowns away from breaking the school record for most rushing touchdowns, he leads the SEC in rushing yards (897) and carries (188). However, the numbers don’t tell the entire story.
What makes Snell special is his ability to put the team on his back when they need it most. After proving it time and time again in 2016, he did it once again Saturday vs. Ole Miss. Starting from his own end zone, Snell carried the ball for 67 of UK’s final 95 yards, capped off with a go-ahead touchdown on his 28th carry of the game. Most running backs couldn’t handle that workload, but Benny Snell isn’t most running backs.
“It wasn’t difficult, because that’s me. That’s what I do. I try to make plays the best as I can,” Snell said today. “I was tired, I was tired a little bit. It wasn’t to the point were I felt that I needed to be out of the game.”
Snell gets tired, but he never gets too tired.
“I feel like it all comes down to being durable and just being able to do a lot. I feel like I’m one of those guys who’s an every down back and you won’t find me hurt. You won’t find me not giving an effort….I feel like you can always use. I can take a punishment and keep going even more.”
That’s not lip-service from Snell, it’s science.
During preseason testing, the in-practice GPS system discovered an anomaly. While tracking distance, speed and heart rate, Mark Stoops said the staff found Snell has a remarkable recovery time.
“He has an ability to recover very quickly with his heart rate,” Stoops said Monday. “He’s a strong guy. It takes an awful lot for him to get wore down.”
“I feel like I’m a superhero or something like that,” Snell said with a smile. “I try to control my breathing, but no matter what, no matter if I’m dog-tired or got just a little bit of energy, I don’t want to get out of the game. I feel like I’m able to make those plays no matter what circumstance my body is in.”
Snell can move piles of people when he’s gassed and keep playing. This week he must move past a loss and prepare for another SEC dogfight.
“The great guys are going to forget it. You lose as a man, you win as a man,” Snell recalled Stoops’ Monday afternoon message. “I swallowed the pill and we took it. We took it and we’re just going to get better from there and that’s what I’m looking forward to.”
In contrast to The Dark Knight, Snell is not the hero the we deserve, he’s the hero we need.