When ultimately choosing a school, JoJo Kemp wants to make sure he picks a perfect balance between academics and football.
Though his dream is to play in the NFL, the 5-foot-10, 190-pound running back out of DeLand High School (DeLand, Fla.), already knows he wants to major in sports management and maybe eventually become a youth football coach.
"I'm already thinking about my [long-term] plans now," Kemp said.
Right now, Kemp holds offers from South Florida, SMU, Western Kentucky, Marshall, Florida International, West Virginia and Temple, and has been hearing from UCF, South Carolina, Rutgers, Duke, Kentucky and Miami.
South Florida currently has the lead.
"I've visited them the most so far," said Kemp, who recently attended the Bulls' Junior Day and said he's also gone down there a weekend for an unofficial visit. "I like their community and the players. The players are really cool and seem like a family and I like the coaches. The coaches seem like they really care about you not only as an athlete, but also as a person and want you to be successful in life and help you get to the next level."
South Florida, which is in Tampa, is about a two-hour drive from DeLand, but Kemp said staying in-state isn't a necessity.
"I don't care about staying close to home or going out of state," he said. "I just want to pick a college team that's going to help me be successful in life. Help me be a great person and a great athlete."
As far as other visits coming up for Kemp, he said he'll likely take in UCF's junior day. He also wants to take more visits (possibly to SMU if it can be arranged) this summer. Kemp explained he wants to take these visits as soon as he can in case he decides to graduate high school in December and enroll in college early.
Kemp, who is being recruited by Derrick Odum, said he doesn't know much about SMU yet, but is interested in the school.
"I researched it and it looks like a great school," Kemp said. "I'm going to take all my schools into consideration because I want to see what every school has to offer."
Kemp is listed as a wide receiver and running back, but said he mainly plays and is being recruited as a running back.
As far as his strengths go, Kemp said he's a "power-back with great speed."
"I have a lot of energy and can move my legs in the open field and get past defenders," he said.
In some cases, SMU joining the Big East in 2013 makes the school extra appealing to prospects because of the BCS brand attached to it. But for Kemp, conference affiliation isn't that important.
"Everybody is going to get their shot at the NFL, so that doesn't really bother me," he said. "I don't care if it's in the Big East, Big 12, SEC or the ACC. I'm going to pick a school that's going to fit me and that's going to help me grow as a person and make me be successful in life. So none of that stuff really matters to me."
Now in the offseason, Kemp is focused on weight lifting and hopes to make it to state this year.
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