Kenny Bell on his career, the draft & Pelini
Each week we highlight Hail Varsity Radio’s top interviews with show hosts Chris Schmidt, David Gustafson and Mark Kraynak. This week’s Radio Rewind is with Kenny Bell, currently training for the NFL Combine in Dallas.
HV: It’s different for everybody, but was there a moment at Nebraska you remember when you “grew up?”
KB: It’s hard to say in specific moments. I think for a lot of guy that get there when they’re young, their mind and their heart is all over the place. It takes time to develop a culture and to develop a relationship within a team and within the coaching staff. That’s something that Bo (Pelini) and all the coaches I was thankful to play under did an awesome job with; they developed a culture of hard work and dedication to that hard work, and dedicating your day to not counting the days, but making the days count, if that makes sense. I think that work ethic and that attitude definitely spread onto me and that’s how I approach every day here.
HV: With how hectic this year was, did it make you look back at your time at Nebraska at all?
KB: I think with all that noise and all that turmoil you speak of, that just comes with the great stage of playing any major football or any major sport in general. So I think with a stage like the University of Nebraska, in the fishbowl that you’re in, I think that just comes with the territory and as you get older you realize that and you develop not a talent, but a knack for putting it all away and kind of compartmentalizing and that’s what happened to me. It got down to my senior year and I got pretty quiet in the media and I didn’t really care for anything but winning with my teammates and winning for my coaches and really enjoying the experience because I knew it was coming to an end. I can’t complain about my experience at Nebraska. I love that University, I love the fans, I could never complain about my experience with my coaches or with that University or the people around it, so no qualms for me.
HV: You’re training down there with Ameer Abdullah, tell us about the first time you met him.
KB: Oh man, the first time I met Ameer I didn’t know much about the kid because our freshman year was mostly about Aaron Green and Braylon Heard if you guys remember. That was 2011, I believe. I had heard so much about (Green) and Braylon, and hats off to them, who have also had fantastic careers at Kentucky and (Green) is pursuing his career at TCU for another year, so hats off to the both of them, but I hadn’t really known Ameer. He came to fall camp 2011 and just shocked our entire football team because what an athlete and what a football player he was. To see him really shine not just last year as a senior with our program but right now seeing how well he’s doing with combine training and how well he’s doing at the Senior Bowl, there’s no surprises there. He’s an unbelievable talent and I guarantee he’s going to make quite the splash in the NFL.
HV: What are you hearing about the draft?
KB: That goes back to ignoring the noise outside anything that’s going on outside of my camp. I couldn’t tell you what I’m projected as, I couldn’t tell you anything like that. I mean, I probably couldn’t even tell you how many catches, yards, or anything like that I had this year. Right now I’m focused on training every day and getting bigger, stronger and faster and preparing myself for the biggest job of my life, and that’s all I can ask of myself right now. Everything else kind of falls by the wayside.
HV: What was your reaction to the final team meeting and that audio getting out?
KB: So a couple things from that; I love our head man, I always will. There’s nothing, well, I guess there’s not nothing, but there’s not too much he could do to tarnish my relationship or my image with him because I spent five years with him and I know the man. I don’t listen to audio recordings or media clippings or anything like that for me to base my opinion off of him. Was it handled in the best way? That’s for others to decide. I think maybe it could have been, but that’s not for me to decide. I love Bo Pelini, he’s got nothing but my love and support, so I don’t have too much to comment on that. It’s a real shame that it just went down like that. If anything it just disgusts me that that needed to be released and shared with the public; a private meeting with a man’s team, but you know, that’s how it goes sometimes.