By LARRY VAUGHT
There’s not a Kentucky football player I have enjoyed being around more in recent years than JoJo Kemp.
It started the first time I talked to him on the phone when I learned UK was recruiting the Florida running back. It has continued during his time at UK.
He’s brash, but honest. He’s caring. He’s outgoing. He gives an honest answer to any question.
I know he’s been frustrated at times the last two years that he has not got the ball more. Yet he has never publicly complained or pouted.
He’s been named a team captain this year by his peers and new offensive coordinator Eddie Gran had words of praise for him Thursday.
“I think he started out really well the first couple of weeks and then he got hurt, so that kind of — what I liked about it, in that scrimmage where he got hurt, he jumped right back in there. He popped or tweaked his hamstring a little bit and we went outside with him and he said, ‘Hey, coach, just run me inside. I’m good to go. Just run me inside,'” Gran said.
“He showed a little toughness. He came back in, he’s fighting through it in practice. Today he looked healthier, like he was the first week. So hopefully we’ll get something out of him this Saturday (in a scrimmage.”
But I really liked the comments on leadership that Gran made because Kemp is the first to admit that when he first got to UK his practice habits were not always the best.
“That’s one of our guys that brings the leadership to our offense. He’s a senior, brings a lot of energy, he really does. He’s laughing, having a good time and sometimes I’ve got to pull him in a little bit, let him know when it’s time to have fun and not to have fun, but you like that. It’s better to say whoa, than giddy-up,” Gran said.