There have been a ton of be commitments for the Wildcats in the past month, but I'v..."/> There have been a ton of be commitments for the Wildcats in the past month, but I'v..."/> There have been a ton of be commitments for the Wildcats in the past month, but I'v..."/>

Kentucky Wildcats Football: Why you should love Jojo Kemp


There have been a ton of be commitments for the Wildcats in the past month, but I’ve not been even slightly bashful about how talented I think Jojo Kemp is. For Kentucky fans to understand how important of a player he can be, they’ll need to loo past the rankings.

The skinny on Kemp:
Jojo Kemp is a running back, but is a different type of back than the ones Kentucky has recruited in the past. He’s labeled as an “all-purpose back,” and an extremely talented one at that. Kemp is not an overly large player, but size is not very important when evaluating APBs because they don’t do a ton if downhill running. The ability to block, catch the ball out of the backfield, and operate in space are significantly more valuable. In a nutshell, Kemp and other all-purpose backs are better suited for spread or air raid offenses, like the one Kentucky will use.

Kemp and the ratings:
Rivals, Scout, and 24/7 all consider Kemp a three-star player and ESPN rates him at four stars. Scout ranks him the lowest, as only the 72 ranked running back in the country. Kemp’s rating with Scout is undoubtedly hurt because this particular site does not separate different types of backs. Essentially, Kemp is being compared to a 6’1, 220 pound bruiser and being ranked in the same scale. ESPN does this as well, but Kemp manages to come in at the #28 running back nationally despite combining the different types of backs. When looking at the rankings on 24/7 and Rivals, both services separate all-purpose backs from traditional running backs. This allows Kemp to be rated only next to players of the same overall style as himself. This difference allows Kemp to be rated as highly as the #10 all-purpose back in the country.

Why Kemp is so important:
Kentucky has a talented stable of running backs returning, but the situation isn’t necessarily ideal. Seniors Ray Sanders and Jonathan George are good fits for the changes in offensive schemes, but both are only 1-year stop gaps as they’ll both be seniors. Josh Clemons is a versatile guy that could fit the running back position in the new offense, but he’s coming off of an injury that ended his freshman season early in 2011 and forced him to miss the entire 2012 campaign. His status appears to be good, but its hard to count on him just yet considering he has only played a half of a season at this point. Also a sophomore, Dy’Shawn Mobley will need to completely reinvent his game to factor into the competition for the starting job. He and Redshirt freshman Justin Taylor are traditional power-backs that can crush defenses between the tackles but will struggle to fit into the new scheme without a drastic change to their approach to the running back position. That’s not to say that they can’t, but the task will be difficult. Kemp on the other hand, was born to play in a scheme just like Neal Brown’s and should challenge for extended playing time as soon as he arrives in Lexington. There is not a better natural fit for the Kentucky offense than Kemp.

The point:
Do not concern yourself with Jojo Kemp’s rating. He is absolutely a 5-star player for Kentucky’s offense and was probably the best fit for the running back position at UK out of EVERY PLAYER IN THE COUNTRY. I truly believe he is destined for great things at Kentucky. He was the first team all-state running back in Florida’s 8A division and completely dominated at Florida’s highest level of competition.