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Kash Daniel Rediscovered Joy Following Battle with Depression

Kash Daniel’s senior year did not go according to plan.

In discussion about his Kentucky career with Matt Jones on Kentucky Sports Radio, the UK linebacker revealed that despite his confident facade, he struggled with depression in his final months on campus.

I was in a deep, deep dark place mentally throughout this whole year. I suffer from depression. That’s one thing a lot of people don’t know about me. I have this persona of this confident, ya know, kind of almost brash dude, but that’s my persona. That’s what I use to have people try to live vicariously through me, to have this excitement around Kentucky football, embrace and bring a sense of swag to it.” He added, “That’s just how I play football.”

There was not one thing in particular that led Kash down a dark path. His problems piled up, with the loss of his grandfather at its foundation.

“It just seemed like one thing after another for me. I felt like I couldn’t get a break from some things,” he said.  “I lost my grandfather this year. He was like a second Dad to me and I’m still recovering, my whole family is, because he was our rock. He was our glue that kept our family together. I love and miss him so much. I can’t even start to describe it. I wish he was there for my Senior Day, my graduation, the bowl game and everything like that. That’s what really sent me over the edge and put me in that dark place.”

It was only compounded after the infamous ankle-turning incident against Florida. Kash admitted that he let his emotions get the best of him when he grabbed Kyle Trask’s ankle. He only regrets not apologizing sooner.

“It was a stupid decision Matt. I want everyone for me to reiterate it was stupid. It weighed on my heart because I’m not that guy. I’m not a dirty player,” said Daniel.

“Looking back on it, should have I apologized for it after the game? Absolutely. Absolutely I should have. It was stupid of me to do that and it’s one of my regrets that I have.”

To compound the problems even further, the hard-nosed middle linebacker suffered two concussions in three weeks. The second one he probably returned from too quickly.

“I wanted to be out there for my guys no matter what. My thing is, if I can walk, I can play.”

By the season’s end, Kash returned to form. In his final game as a Wildcat he made a team-high eight tackles, helping Kentucky defeat Virginia Tech 37-30 in the Belk Bowl. Daniel’s improved play coincided with an improved outlook on life.

“I’m in such a better place. I got my happiness back. I got my joy back.”

The pride of Paintsville could not have done it without his coaches, teammates and the BBN.

“With all the negativity that came, there was a lot of love too. That was the one thing that helped me get back to a great place in my life. I’m very thankful for every fan out there from the bottom of my heart, I really do appreciate it,” he said as he choked back tears.

“My coaches mean so much to me. My teammates, my school and this state mean so much to me, more than anyone will ever know.”

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

12 Comments for Kash Daniel Rediscovered Joy Following Battle with Depression

  1. KentuckyVSEveryone
    12:37 pm January 14, 2020 Permalink

    I have been there myself Kash…the important thing is that you kept climbing until you were out of that dark place! You are a warrior and will be missed by MANY UK fans! Thanks for the memories.

  2. UKfansNKY
    12:40 pm January 14, 2020 Permalink

    Hang in there Kash, the BBN love you Man!

  3. lex cath
    12:43 pm January 14, 2020 Permalink

    Loved this kid since day one, he’ll always be one of the state’s favorite. Do great in the NFL Kash

  4. StillBP
    12:54 pm January 14, 2020 Permalink

    as they say, hurt people hurt people. what he did to trask was not cool but at least he regrets it.

  5. RackEmWillie
    1:05 pm January 14, 2020 Permalink

    That definitely helps to put things in a better perspective.

  6. 3Goggles
    1:28 pm January 14, 2020 Permalink

    It should go without saying, but it just reiterates how we as fans have a responsibility to treat players as human beings. They aren’t objects for our enjoyment or targets for our frustrations. You never know what a person is dealing with privately. Im glad Kash came out of it, but I’m sure the majority of fans weren’t much of a help.

    • runningunnin.454
      4:52 pm January 14, 2020 Permalink

      Well said; and a lot of these same “fans” are busy maligning the basketball players now. Really sad.

  7. Duuuuuude
    1:41 pm January 14, 2020 Permalink

    Most of us here are not psychologists, but it didn’t take one to tell something was not right with him. It makes sense that somebody with the passion that Kash carries could not stay in that place and would eventually come down. It helps knowing this about him, and it helps that his “bad behavior” bothered him enough to try to make things right. Best wishes to you Kash!

  8. bbn606
    2:15 pm January 14, 2020 Permalink

    I don’t think you will find anyone who loved being a Wildcat more than Kash.

  9. clarks
    2:20 pm January 14, 2020 Permalink

    Kash is a wildcat for life and hope the best for him. He will b missed on the field but got a feeling that we havent heard the last out of him around uk football

    • trumpetguy
      2:47 pm January 14, 2020 Permalink

      Clarks, agree with you. Kids passion and pride for his state would be an asset to the UK coaching staff in some capacity.

  10. meeksfor3
    3:16 pm January 14, 2020 Permalink

    For those who bash him for not apologizing sooner then I have one thing to say to you…. When you have swept off your porch then you can clean off everyone elses.