By LARRY VAUGHT
Could getting kicked out of the Music City Bowl on a controversial call turn out to be a blessing for Kentucky junior running back Benny Snell?
Snell thinks so. He called it a “blessing in disguise” at the recent SEC Media Days in Atlanta.
“More people know who I am now because of that, so it’s not all negative,” he said.
If that’s not enough, he said something else to make sure people know who he is going into the 2018 season. He bluntly proclaimed he was the best running back in the SEC — a statement that Alabama senior running back Damien Harris would not respond to a few days later.
Kentucky offensive coordinator Eddie Gran said he heard what Snell said and didn’t mind but that now he had to prove it on the field.
Snell led the SEC in carries (256) and rushing yards (1,118) last season and his 19 touchdowns set the Kentucky school record.
Snell broke six freshman rushing records in 2016. He has the record for career rushing touchdowns and enters his junior season eighth all-time on the career rushing list. If healthy, He needs 910 yards to smove past Moe Williams into second place and 1,412 yards to move ahead of Sonny Collins for the most rushing yards in school history.
“What’s great about Benny is he brings that attitude. He brings that chip on his shoulder,” Stoops said. “It takes each and every day. He comes to every scrimmage, every practice, he plays the game the way it’s supposed to be played. He makes very tough yards. He’s been very reliable.
“There’s been some star running backs in this league and some of them have graduated. There’s been some great players, but Benny is certainly worthy of the hype that he gets because of his consistency. He’s done it in this league at Kentucky his first two years, and he spent over a thousand yards each of those years, and we look forward to him doing that again this year. Certainly he deserves to be in that kind of conversation.”