By LARRY VAUGHT
He’s become an all-Southeastern Conference performer, two-time 1,000-yard rusher and a likely 2019 NFL draft pick if he decides to pass up his senior season at Kentucky.
Yet none of that has changed Benny Snell or will ever change the way I think about him.
It’s similar to Randall Cobb when he was at UK. I was impressed with Cobb’s maturity as a high school player and admired the way he handled himself off the field as well as on the field at Kentucky. It’s the same with Snell.
That’s way at last week’s Media Day, I made sure to spend time with Snell. I had noticed he had a lot of bracelets on his arm and wanted to let him explain why he had so many — which he gladly did with that huge smile that is so infectious.
First, he pointed out one that that BBN on it.
“I got this one from the Big Blue Caravan. We went to Marshall County where they had the school shooting. Will never forget it. That’s this one. Those people showed us love. They are forever with me,” Snell said.
The next one was probably my favorite.
“I got the SnellYaLater custom made. It’s got ‘Come On, No. 26’ on the back,” he said.
Where did he get it?
“I can’t say but I got a whole bunch in the vault, though,” he laughed and said.
He had four more on his right wrist.
“My sister made this one for me. Her name is Simone (and it is on the bracelet). This is a team one right here. My sister also gave this one to me because I am a Savage like it says,” Snell said. “This one here, whenever someone takes a picture of me, it reflects on the camera. Know what I mean.”
Well, not exactly but I figured it would take way too long to explain. Instead, I asked him about the camouflage bracelet on his left wrist. He said he was in Orlando and got it at a story because it keeps mosquitoes off him.
“I swear. It keeps mosquitoes away. It smells,” he said.
I thought maybe he was trying to trick me, and told him so.
“Smell,” he said as he stuck his wrist up to my face.
I had to admit it did smell — I just wasn’t quite sure what the smell was and told him so.
“I am telling you it works,” he laughed and said.
He also had a Phoenix Suns logo on the back of his cell phone because he’s a Devin Booker fan. He said Booker is his favorite NBA player and that they met once at UK.
“I was checking up on him when I first got here. It was just a short talk,” Snell said about his meeting with the former UK star basketball player.
Snell said Booker is “my man” on NBA 2K, a video game.
Snell was a solid high school basketball player. He once told me he could score on either DeAaron Fox or Malik Monk when they were at UK. But could he defend Booker?
“I don’t think I could guard him. Malik and Fox have gotten 10 times better, so I am definitely not guarding them now,” Snell said. “I thought at one time I could stop them. I feel like I would still be able to score on them but they would probably be able to score on me whenever they wanted.
“I could score on Devin, too. I feel like I could score on anybody. Bam (Adebayo), probably not. I would have to shoot and miss over him. But those other guys, I know I could at least score on them.”
So tell me, how can you not love Benny Snell?