Kenny Demens had been pondering how to let everyone know which college he planned to go to. He wanted to be different, but he didn’t want to disrespect the coaches from the other schools. Earlier this week he came up with the perfect solution.
“I’m going to thank Mark Dantonio from Michigan State, coach Bill Callihan from Nebraska, and last but not least, coach Lloyd Carr from Michigan because that’s where I’m going,” Demens told GoBlueWolverine earlier this week. “I’m going to unzip my jacket so people can see my Michigan shirt, then I’m going to pull a Michigan hat out of my back pocket to put it on.”
Demens actually informed GoBlueWolverine of his choice September 16th. That proved to be the day that gave him certainty regarding what he should do.
“I came to my decision two Sunday’s ago,” he said. “I was in church and my pastor was preaching a sermon, and the topic was about staying home. When he said those words I looked over at my grandma and I got chill bumps. She said, ‘see Kenny, stay home.’ I’m a believer. I come from a religious family. I had this gut feeling that triggered me to choose one college over all of them. That was the feeling I got at that moment. When I got home I looked at my mom with a real serious look on my face and said, ‘ma, Michigan.’ Then she jumped up and down hollering! I was like, ‘yeah…ma, it’s cool, it’s cool.’ She was crazy happy!”
Mom wasn’t the only one excited by the news. Demens’ commit apparently came as a pleasant surprise to Michigan coach Lloyd Carr as well.
“He was happy,” Demens said regarding his future coach’s reaction. “I didn’t think he would be that excited. He was like, ‘Wow! I’ll tell you what, that’s an excellent decision that you’ve made. I’m happy that you’ve committed here because I see that you have leadership and I want you excel in school on and off the field. I want you to be a leader in our program.’
“He also said I can come in and compete for playing time,” Demens continued. “He said, ‘our linebacker depth is real weak right now, so you’ll be able to come in and have a chance to make an immediate impact.’ He was real geeked about it. He was telling me ‘welcome,’ and was saying ‘Michigan’s family is like no other family.’ Then he talked to my mom for like fifteen minutes.”
As pleased as Demens was to have reached a conclusion in his recruitment, he might have been more pleased that his ultimate choice was the one his mother always wanted him to make.
“It means a lot to her,” he said. “My mom doesn’t want her kids to leave home. She wants to be real close to her kids because we come from a real close family. We’re always together. My sister is in college at DePaul right now, but my aunt and uncle live in Chicago, so she was okay with that. But she didn’t want me to go all of the way out to Nebraska, West Virginia, Louisville, or Iowa. It was big with her for me to stay close. Before Michigan even offered, she wanted me to go to Michigan. I kept saying, ‘they haven’t offered me yet ma, so I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do. I’ve got to go with who I’ve got offers from.’ She was saying, ‘It’s gonna come…it’s gonna come.’ I didn’t really think it was going to come (laughing). When it finally did, everybody was happy, especially my uncles who are Michigan alums. My grandma wanted me to go there too. My whole family was real geeked and hollering!”
“My mom has been there from the get go,” Demens continued. “She was there when I was in the third grade playing sports. She was at every game. That’s her thing… she wants to be able to make it to all of my games and keep showing support to her kids. I couldn’t have done this without family support. We don’t have a big income in this household, and going to private school costs $25,000. Those are college numbers! I’m on financial aid, but still, it’s a lot, and my mom does what she can to put me in a position to get good academics and excel. It means a lot to me that I was able to get a scholarship so things won’t be as hard on her anymore. I just want to thank her and my entire family for all the support that they’ve given me.”
Stay tuned to GoBlueWolverine this week for video footage of Demens' press conference.