Three years ago, St. Louis wideout Wes Kemp was hoping to get just one scholarship offer so he could play college football. A lot has changed since then, and he's now one of the most coveted wide receivers in the Midwest. Indiana is the latest to offer the 6-4, 215-pounder...
A lot has changed for Wes Kemp in the last three years.
When Kemp first arrived at St. Louis’ Desmet Jesuit H.S., he had hopes of playing football beyond the high school level. But he tried to temper those aspirations.
“Coming into high school, I was hoping to get one offer,” Kemp said. “I was just hoping one school would see me, like me, and offer and I could play college football.”
That’s happened for the 6-4, 215-pounder wideout – and much more. A four-star wideout according to Scout.com, Kemp now has nine offers and is one of the most sought-after receivers in the Midwest. Indiana is the most recent to extend a scholarship offer, adding their name to a list of suitors that also includes Missouri, Kansas, Kansas State, Nebraska, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Ole Miss.
“Indiana has jumped in during the last month or so,” Kemp said. “The coach (IU assistant coach Matt Canada) came to our school, and I've talked to him on the phone and he’s a real nice guy. I know it’s a good program in the Big Ten, I know they like to pass the ball and they have big receivers there. I think it’s also a place where I could play early, be an impact player as a freshman, and ultimately that’s what I want to do.”
Indiana’s recruiting competition will be tough for Kemp. He’s a physically gifted wideout, clocking a 4.5 in the 40 as well as a 37.5 inch vertical jump. He combines those tools with plenty of productivity as well. He’s coming off a junior season that included 42 catches for 780 yards and eight touchdowns, earning him All-Metro and All-State honors. That came on the heels of a sophomore season that included 46 receptions for 1,062 yards and another seven scores.
His biggest game came on the biggest stage as well – the 2005 state championship game. As a sophomore, Kemp broke a couple of championship game records with his 11-catch, 246-yard, one touchdown effort in Desmet’s 48-31 win over Hazelwood Central.
That effort was also when it became clear Kemp was going to be a top-tier recruit in the ’08 class.
“After that game, everyone started talking to me,” Kemp said. “After that, it was on.”
That’s produced plenty of phone calls, a lot of text messages, and a whole bunch of different opportunities for Kemp. With that in mind, he’s given some thought to when he’d like to begin to whittle down his list, although he admits his thoughts on that topic can vary on a daily basis.
“At first I wanted to cut it down in June, but it’s becoming harder and harder,” Kemp said. “Right now, I’m day to day. One day I’m thinking I’m going to commit early to this school or that school, and then the next day I’m thinking I need to take all my visits.”
When the time does come to cut his list and eventually decide, it will be a combination of academics and athletics that will factor into his decision.
“The biggest factor is that the academics are together, that they are graduating their athletes at a decent rate,” Kemp said. “I want to be somewhere I can get a good education – that’s first and foremost. Then, I want to go somewhere I can play early and that has a bright future.”