For former three-star recruit Benny Snell Jr., the star running back of the Kentucky football team, taking the college football world by storm is also carrying on his father’s legacy; Benny Snell Sr., who was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in 1998.
The 20-year-old is already considered to be an early-round prospect for the 2019 NFL Draft. With Snell’s explosiveness and physicality in the game, he has continued to carve up SEC defenses this season as well as putting up big numbers in his team’s biggest games. But now, Snell has his sights on something a little more challenging.
Does he have the capability and potential to contend for the Heisman Trophy? He is quickly emerging as one of the favorites.
“Now, they’re trying to say the Benny Snell Heisman thing,” Snell said, via the Washington Post. “It should have been happening. It should have been a thing. It should have been getting thrown around.”
Let’s take a look back at his journey from high school to becoming one of the best running backs in college football.
Benny Snell Jr. Bio
Full Name: Benjamin Snell Jr.
Birthdate: February 27, 1998
Birth Place: Columbus, Ohio
School: University of Kentucky
As you might expect, Benny Snell Jr. was a dominant and effective football player throughout his childhood and when he attended high school at Westerville Central High School in Ohio. It’s worth pointing out that his athletic talent derives from his bloodline. In other words, he was poised to become one of the most notable prospects in the 2016 class. So what were some of his major feats in high school?
Well, in his junior year, he rushed for 2,077 yards and scored 26 touchdowns. As a senior, he totaled 1,826 rushing yards, 264 receiving yards, and 29 touchdowns.
But that’s not all.
Bigger than that, he managed to win two Ohio Capital Conference titles. Before you knew it, the three-star recruit had a difficult decision to make regarding the next four years of his life. His list of offers included – the University of Kentucky, University of Iowa, University of Cincinnati, Boston College, University of Toledo, and West Virginia University.
Ultimately, he committed to the University of Kentucky in February 2015, almost a full year before he signed with the Wildcats.
Once Benny Snell Jr. started his career at the University of Kentucky, he was lights out and exploded out of the gate. In just his freshman year, there was much to be said and recorded in the history books. His 1,091 rushing yards is not just an astonishing statistic, it broke the Kentucky freshman rushing record held by Moe Williams.
But wait – there was more.
He set six UK freshmen records that included most rushing touchdowns in a game (4), most rushing touchdowns by a freshman (13), and most rushing yards by a freshman in a single game (192). Nearing the end of his freshman season, he was selected as a True Freshman All-American by ESPN and 247Sports.
As a sophomore, he rushed for 1,333 rushing yards and scored 19 rushing touchdowns. On top of that, he became the first Kentucky player with 10 or more career 100-yard rushing games prior to his junior season. In addition, he became the ninth player in Kentucky school history to reach 2,000 rushing yards in his career and the 19th player in SEC history to reach 2,000 career rushing yards prior to his junior season. Towards the end of his sophomore season, he was put on the Doak Walker Award Watch List and the Maxwell Award Watch List.
Now, as a junior, he continues to rack up a substantial amount of yards per game as well as make some history in the process. For instance, when the No. 18 ranked Wildcats faced No. 14 ranked Mississippi State University on Saturday, Sept. 22, he reached a new milestone by surpassing the former Wildcats wide receiver Randall Cobbs with 38 career touchdowns.
The Wildcats are back in action on Saturday, Oct. 20, at 7:30 p.m. ET, against Vanderbilt University on their home turf. The game will be aired on SEC Network.
‘Politics Got In The Way’
As a kid, Snell’s dream college was to attend Ohio State University and he would go on to play high school football only 15 miles away from the university’s campus. However, he not only failed to impress the football team’s coaching staff but came to understand that politics got in the way of him receiving an offer. Recently, he talked on The Jim Rowe Show about his favorite university when growing up and how the school overlooked him.
Mark My Word
A few weeks ago, Snell made a promise in front of the television cameras that his team will win at least 10 games during the season. It’s worth noting that the last time the University of Kentucky football team won 10 games in a season was back in 1977.
History In The Makings
With 6 of the Wildcats season games in the books, Snell needs 1,112 yards to pass Sonny Collins who is the team’s all-time leading rusher with 3,835 yards from 1972-75.
The Best Highlights From Benny Snell’s Freshman Year