BY LARRY VAUGHT
At this time last year, few UK football fans knew that much about the freshman running back Benny Snell from Ohio. Now most knowledgeable fans in the SEC — except maybe media members who left him off the three preseason all-SEC teams — know plenty about him.
“Going from being a nobody last year to where I am now is great, but I am the same. In some places now, people see me and come up and stare. Then sometimes I feel like I can go out and nobody knows me. But the fan support I get is really cool. It’s great in this city,” Snell, a preseason Doak Walker Award candidate, said. “I had something to prove to myself and everyone last year and now I want to do it all over again.”
Offensive coordinator Eddie Gran is on Snell — and others — to be great leaders and individuals constantly. Snell appreciates that.
“I just try to make myself a better person every day not to mention getting better on the field. Coach Gran has a lot of great things that he says you grow with daily,” Snell said.
Does Gran ever irritate Snell?
“Coach Gran probably does irritate me at times,” Snell laughed and said. “When we are going at it with the defense, I go too hard. Sometimes coach Gran jokes about me getting tackled. He tries to get under my skin to get me mad and better.”
Gran says Snell runs like he’s mad, something opposing defenders who have been steamrolled by Snell would not dispute.
“I take that as a compliment. When I run, I always run with a chip on my shoulder. I am not really going to try and avoid contact,” he said. “I can spot guys when they have fear in their eyes when I am running. I try to attack. I definitely want to make guys miss but I will go through them, too. I’m not afraid of contact.”