Snell gives back at Lexington YMCA

Published 3:31 pm Thursday, April 20, 2023

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Contributing columnist

Former UK running back Benny Snell, Kentucky’s all-time leading rusher, was back in Lexington where he visited with students participating in the YMCA of Central Kentucky’s After School Program at Maxwell Elementary School. He was there to match the $3,500 raised by the YMCA kids in the Youth Penny Wars that is part of the Y’s annual Impact Campaign.

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Snell interacted with players and signed autographs during his visit and also answered questions the kids had. He told them how he spent time as a kid in the YMCA in Columbus, Ohio.

“I liked to just run outside and go play ball with friends,” he said. “Those were good times.”

He’s spent the past four seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He’s currently a free agent hoping to sign soon with the Steelers or another NFL team.

“The NFL has been a crazy ride like a roller coaster but we are still riding is all that matters,” Snell said.

The former UK running back explained to the youngsters how much he has learned playing in Pittsburgh.

“The coaches are phenomenal. I learned on and off the field lessons I can take into life to help me with my kids,” Snell said. “The first day I walked in (to the Steelers) they were treating me like family just like it was in Kentucky.”

UK’s Walker “not done yet”

Defensive lineman Deone Walker had an impressive freshman season that earned him national honors and made him the target of a lot of transfer portal speculation. However, the 6-6, 345-pound Walker insists he never thought of leaving UK and believes he can have a much better sophomore season by improving his conditioning.

“It can do a lot because I left so many plays out on the field last year that I feel like if I get a good year in, I’m going to have about a 50-60 tackle season,” he said.

Defensive line coach Anwar Stewart is even toying with the idea of playing Walker at more than just one position this season to enhance his versatility and the overall defense’s flexibility.

“He ain’t done yet. He’s not there. He’s a big kid. We’re still working to get his weight down, using that length,” Stewart said before spring practice ended. “He hasn’t even touched the talent that he can play at and the level he can play at.

“I’ve just got to keep pushing him, keep driving him. Once he gets stronger, he’s just going to be dominant. He’s so long and athletic that once he gets his weight down and continues to eat up that weight room, the sky is the limit for that kid.”