Snell ready for leadership role with Cats
Published 11:50 pm Tuesday, July 17, 2018
By Keith Taylor
ATLANTA (KT) — Benny Snell was all smiles in his first appearance at the Southeastern Conference Media Days Monday at the College Football Hall of Fame.
Snell, a junior, has always been one of the team leaders, but never got the opportunity to represent the Wildcats on the league’s biggest stage of the preseason.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Snell said. “This is one of the things I’ve wanted to do as a leader and since I’ve been a freshman.”
Snell also can’t wait to get back on the field after he was ejected during the first quarter of a Music City Bowl loss to Northwestern last December in Nashville. Snell rushed for 1,333 yards year and has gained 2,424 yards in his first two seasons with the Wildcats.
“I’m very excited,” Snell said. “They tried to take me away and I’m back and I’m coming back even harder than before.”
Snell has spent most of the off-season helping his teammates become better players both on and off the field.
“It’s been about making the players around me better,” Snell said. “Over this past year, we’ve (changed the culture) and we’re a lot closer. There is a lot more closeness and we’re doing a lot more bonding outside of football. We’re doing a lot of film work together and a lot of things together and the brotherhood with the team has brought us a lot closer.”
Stoops said defensive signee Ashtan Pierre (Deerfield Beach, Florida) likely won’t play for the Wildcats because of an academic issue. Pierre, a defensive end and linebacker, chose the Wildcats over LSU, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Miami, Michigan State and North Carolina.
“There was an issue with grades and transcripts,” Stoops said. “It doesn’t look like we’re going to get it situated before the year starts,” he said. “It’s a clearinghouse issue.”
Former Kentucky defensive lineman Courtney Love will be joining the coaching staff as a graduate assistant this season. Love was one of the team’s most consistent defensive performers during the past two seasons after transferring from Nebraska.
“We’re excited to have him,” Stoops said.