LEXINGTON, Ky. – Sophomore offensive guard Kenneth Horsey has been named one of the three 2020 Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year Award winners, it was announced today by The College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) in association with The Associated Press (AP) and the Fiesta Bowl Organization. Joining Horsey are Jarek Broussard, a sophomore running back at Colorado and senior linebacker Silas Kelly at Coastal Carolina.
Horsey, who hails from Sanford, Florida, has a remarkable comeback story. In the spring of 2018, before he was to arrive at Kentucky for his freshman season, he was complaining of a pain in his side. His parents rushed him to the emergency room where doctors ultimately found a growth on one of his heart valves. He went through open-heart surgery on April 8, 2018 and was even told by a few doctors that football was over. However, Horsey would not be deterred. He came to Kentucky and redshirted the 2018 season with a goal of earning a starting spot on Kentucky’s offensive line, affectionately known as the “Big Blue Wall.” In 2019, he saw action in four games and continued to train and prepare his body for the rigors of the Southeastern Conference. Since his surgery in 2018, he has lost 50 pounds and because of his hard work and dedication, has earned the starting left guard spot on the “Big Blue Wall.” Even a broken left hand, which required surgery during pre-season camp, did not get in the way. He started in eight games played this season, helping the Wildcats rank fifth in the Southeastern Conference in rushing offense (187.4).
“I want to thank God because none of this would be possible without Him,” said Horsey upon learning of being selected the 2020 Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year. “I also want to thank my family and UK football for supporting me and believing in me. I understand that every snap is a blessing and being in this situation has made me a better person, a better Christian, and a better man. I hope I can take the lessons I’ve learned through this process and use them in the future to help others.”
“We were all so concerned when we first learned what Kenneth was going through,” UK head coach Mark Stoops said. “There was probably some hesitation about returning to play football but to see him come back has really been inspiring. We have seen him get more and more confident and he’s really grown on and off the field. We are so proud and happy for Kenneth.”