"Coach Fitzgerald is a great man and a great coach," Kenny said. "He's done a great job at Northwestern, not just as a football coach but at developing character and making players into great individuals."
While Kenny's respect for Fitzgerald's success at NU is undeniable, he is still unable to gauge his interest without visiting. However, the appeal of playing at a Big Ten school coupled with a desire for high academic standards are two factors weighing heavily in Kenny's decision—factors that could cause him to ultimately land in Evanston.
"With all of the honor and the prestige in the Big Ten, playing there would mean a lot," he said. "Northwestern is in the Big Ten, and I've always said that academics are going to play a big part in my decision. It's hard to get a better degree than one from Northwestern, and their football program is on the rise, so I'm definitely excited."
Kenny has spoken with NU receivers coach Dennis Springer as well as Fitzgerald several times in the past few weeks and is planning a visit later this month. He is yet to receive an invitation to NU's minicamp this summer.
"I'm excited to finally get on campus and see what this place is about," he said. "I've heard so much about how nice the campus is, and how nice the people are. But I think the best part about visiting will be finally getting to meet coach Fitz."
Kenny helped lead Carmel HS to a 14-1 record this season, playing mostly outside and inside linebacker. Since his team's 54-0 win over state-rival Penn in the state playoffs, Kenny has gained 15 lbs, hoping to prove college coaches that he is big and strong enough to start at linebacker.
"All the coaches say they view me as an outside linebacker," he said. "But they say It wouldn't hurt if I put on some weight. So, I've been in the weight room a lot, trying to gain a few pounds but also get stronger."
Although he's received several offers—including, but not limited to Illinois, Purdue, Boise State and Iowa—Kenny has yet to narrow down his list of teams. He plans to choose a top three by June and make his selection before he begins school in the fall.
Luckily for NU, no decisions will be made prior to Kenny meeting coach Fitzgerald, presumably later this month.
"It's been frustrating because I haven't been able to get on campus and I haven't gotten to meet him in person," he said. "But I've only heard great things about him. I feel like I can talk to him both as a coach and as a person. That's really comforting."