Kenneth Horsey (UK Athletics Photo)
It was just over three years ago that Kenneth Horsey Jr. felt a pain in his side and had to be rushed to an emergency room where it was discovered he had a growth on one of his heart valves. He had open-heart surgery April 8, 2018 — just a few weeks before he was scheduled to report to UK on a football scholarship.
Horsey persevered and was named one of the three 2020 Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year Award winners by The College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). He’s become a regular in the offensive line at guard and now has his goal set to become an all-SEC performer during the 2021 season.
Horsey, a Florida native, said he’s still not at a point where his mother does not worry daily about him.
“I think they would agree that they would not have let me come up here if they did not trust the coaches and staff and trainers with my health and well-being, and I feel the same way,” Horsey said. “We all completely trust the University of Kentucky to do what is best for me and that’s what they have always done.
“It just about us having that faith in them and them having that respect for that. But they have all been great for me since day one and now I want to get bigger, stronger, and faster so I can have an even better year coming up.”
One plus for Horsey has always been his faith. But he says that did not just start with his heart problem.
“This has brought me closer to God and definitely increased my faith and also opened my eyes to some things,” the junior lineman said. “It has helped me mentally to mature and see more things.
“When you can’t do things physically, it gives you time to think about your goals, where you want to be, how you are going to get there. I know what I want and trust God to get me there. But my faith in God has always been there. I just think that faith has grown stronger the last three years.”