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What’s it like being Benny Snell’s backup?

A.J. Rose dives into the end zone against South Carolina. (Wade Upchurch Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

What is it like to be Benny Snell’s backup, especially when the backup is in the same recruiting class and played high school football in the same state?

“He’s best running back in the SEC. I have learned a lot from him. I am always asking him questions. I ask him what I can do to get better,” said Kentucky redshirt sophomore A.J. Rose.

Rose was a standout in the Cleveland area while Snell, who now has 40 touchdowns and over 3,000 yards rushing, was from Columbus, about two hours away.

“I had heard of him in high school but didn’t really know him until we got here,” Rose said.

How did recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow convince two running backs – who both scored touchdowns in last Saturday’s win over South Carolina that moved UK to 5-0 – so talented to both sign with UK in the same recruiting class?

“Vince is a great recruiter. He just told us be a family and you just had to stick with it,” Rose said. “It was rough my first year. Coaches stayed on me and then I earned their trust and now I feel good.”

Going into their freshmen season, coaches weren’t sure whether Snell or Rose would play. Neither played the first two games before Snell got the call and went on to rush for over 1,000 yards.

“It was tough not getting to play but Benny came in and worked. He learned everything real well. It took me a little longer. Everything happens for a reason but now we are both doing all we can to help us win,” Rose said.

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