VAUGHT: Cessna shows his versatility

Chris Cessna knew his commitment to Kentucky would be a "big deal" to fans around North Laurel High School and would also make him the target for opposing teams. However, he figured the best thing to do was not worry about any of that and just hope he didn't get hurt this season.

Chris Cessna knew his commitment to Kentucky would be a "big deal" to fans around North Laurel High School and would also make him the target for opposing teams. However, he figured the best thing to do was not worry about any of that and just hope he didn't get hurt this season.

Guess what? Midway of his second game, Cessna went down after taking a blow to his right knee. That's the same knee he hurt when he was in the eighth grade and had to have surgery to repair his anterior cruciate ligament.

"It was pretty scary. I knew what could happen. The first thing I thought was that my season might be over," Cessna said. "I knew to lay still. When I was in the eighth grade, I got up and tried to walk and ended up tearing my cartilage doing that. I thought I better just lay there. I'm just glad everything is okay."

Cessna suffered only a bruised knee and even returned to the game for the final few plays when Mercer County was driving for what turned out to be the winning touchdown.

"If nothing was torn, I figured I could play. I didn't want to let a little pain keep me from playing. The last defensive series was pretty important and I just wanted to try and help our team," Cessna said.

He plans to be back on the field this Friday when North Laurel plays again. "If nothing is wrong, I can deal with the pain," he said.

He made several tackles from his inside linebacker spot while chasing down runners in Saturday's loss and also showed his versatility by returning kickoffs, catching passes and even running a few plays out of the backfield. North Laurel's tailback was injured and that forced Cessna to move from his normal tight end spot to play wingback.

"I had never played that spot before and had never run the ball like that. It's been kind of hard learning a new offense and new position both," he said.

Perhaps that's why he understands the dilemma facing Kentucky when it plays Louisville Sunday. "I always want them to win because that's where I am going to play. But a first game is not always a fair indication of what type team you have or what kind of season you will have," Cessna said.

Cessna knows plenty of recruits will be at the game. He talked briefly with Lexington Henry Clay tight end Sam Gardner after the teams scrimmaged earlier this month. "I told him I would love to see him there and that we could room together. Just stuff like that," Cessna said. "I am not going to bug anybody about coming to UK, but I will sure talk about UK to anyone I can."

That could include Fort Campbell linebacker-running back Micah Johnson, who will also be at Sunday's game.

"I saw him at Fan Day. He is the biggest kid I've ever seen. He is huge. He's not fat. It's all muscle," Cessna said. "I can only imagine how good he is. He's sure the kind of player you would love to have on your team."


AllWildcats Top Stories