JoJo Kemp took a moment after Friday’s practice to discuss the status of Kentucky’s backfield through the first week of camp.
After chatting with him for a couple of minutes on and off camera, it sounds like things are going well under Eddie Gran. The veterans are improving; the freshmen are learning; and everyone is on board with winning at all costs.
Some quick-hitters from JoJo…
Gran using his track record with running backs to teach unselfishness.
Auburn’s Ronnie Brown and Cadillac Williams went second and fifth overall in the 2005 NFL draft after playing for Gran, now UK’s running backs coach, throughout their entire college careers.
Needless to say, Gran knows a little bit about getting backs to share touches and how there can still be individual success through teamwork. That’s a message he is teaching Kemp, Boom Williams and the rest of the Kentucky backfield this fall, using Brown and Williams as an example.
Kemp is buying in and today he told reporters, “It’s a team game. We’re here to win games, so however it gets done, we just want it to happen. Whoever is in the game, as long as we win, that is all that matters.”
The freshman backs are being sponges.
Kemp said UK’s freshmen, A.J. Rose and Bennie Snell, are soaking up all the information they can from coaches and teammates. He called them “sponges” in camp.
“We have to show them the ropes and be great leaders.”
They’re listening, he said.
Mikel Horton is maturing as a running back.
Horton is using his size to his advantage, according to Kemp, and doing a better job running north and south.
Kemp accepting leadership role.
“I’m being more of a leader,” he said, when asked about what he’s improved this year. “I’m pulling guys to the side. I’m giving them the expectations we have. Nobody wants that same feeling as before; we really want to get over this hump and we’re really working on the small things, the fundamentals and the details to get everything dialed in so we can finish.”
“We’re coming out here with a big league backs mentality.”
Hear it all…