From humble beginnings in the small Eastern Kentucky town of Paintsville, Kash Daniel thanked everyone who made his journey to the University of Kentucky possible on Friday morning’s edition of Kentucky Sports Radio.
Kentucky’s Mr. Football in 2015 and a high school All-American, Kash Daniel Day honored the UK linebacker before the final two home games of his career.
“It’s hit me,” he said. “I just know the time’s dwindling down. I just take it one day at a time and be thankful for every opportunity I get.”
Daniel’s senior year has not gone according to plan. Terry Wilson’s injury punched the team in the gut before a pair of head injuries forced Kash to the sideline for a significant amount of time.
“I’m always a perfectionist and I’m always wanting to be out there for my team and be able to push myself to my limits. With the injuries and everything — two concussions in three weeks — it can mess with you,” he said. “I’ve done everything that I can, I’ve given everything that I can, I’ve given my heart and soul to this program, so if it ends like that, then I’m happy with that.”
Despite the valleys, he’s still thankful for the peaks and blessed to represent his hometown at the University of Kentucky. When given the floor to speak his mind, Kash thanked the people of Eastern Kentucky and inspired others to follow in his footsteps.
“I was very thankful for the opportunity to come here, but just overall, I hope I made everyone proud. Not just certain people, but where I come from is always on my heart every time I take the field because I know there’s a lot of people that would kill to have the opportunity that I have. I also would like to just say I’m sorry for anything that I’ve ever done to cause embarrassment to my town or anything. I’m sorry that I’m not absolutely killing it this year. There’s a lot of things going into that, that I’m not going to get into right now.
“I’m going to miss playing here more than anything. I miss coming home. I miss seeing my people. But if you have a dream man, if you have this dream that wakes you up every morning and sometimes keeps you up at night. If you have that burning desire and the willingness to put in the work each and every day and not just talk about it, be about it, then you’re going to go far in life. Whether it be football or any athletics or any job profession that you want, if you have a burning desire to be the best and being the best at what you do, then nothing can stop you. For the people back in Paintsville, people across Eastern Kentucky and the people listening all across the state of Kentucky, I’m just a small country boy from Paintsville. I really wasn’t even supposed to be here, but I did it. I’m thankful for the opportunity. I can’t thank Coach Stoops enough for believing in a small town kid like me.”
Kash added, “I love my town, I love where I come from and I’ll never forget where I come from. That’s one thing that my grandad taught me is that you never forget where you come from. Thank you guys for everything you guys have done for me and the support that you guys have given me, even before my college career, into my college career and without that family love-type support from each and everybody back in the mountains, it wouldn’t be possible for me.”