Wes Kemp has national appeal

DeSmet Jesuit high school (St. Louis, Mo.) sent two players to South Bend in the 2006 recruiting class, and the Irish may look to add another DeSmet product in their 2008 recruiting class. Junior wide receiver Wes Kemp has been to Notre Dame already and he's hearing from all the top programs in the country.

Notre Dame freshmen Munir Prince and Paddy Mullen helped lead DeSmet to a Missouri Class 6 state championship in 2005. Part of that team was a promising young wide receiver Wes Kemp (6-foot-4, 215 pounds, 4.6 40 electric timed). Kemp is having a big junior year, and he will be one of the most heavily recruited players in the Midwest.

"I have a lot of interest in Notre Dame, Kemp responded when asked his interest n Notre Dame. "I've been up there over the summer for a couple days. The first day I took a tour of the campus with the wide receivers coach, coach Ianello. The second day I participated in their camp. I ran and caught some balls and did some drills and then went home.

"Two players from my school, Paddy Mullen and Munir Prince, are up there right now. Everybody grows up hearing about Notre Dame and the tradition, but I was exposed to it more when players from my team went there. Munir and I have talked about how much he likes Notre Dame. I saw him when I went up there. He said it's a great environment and a great campus. It felt real nice when I was up there its one of those things you hear about all your life. It's just an elite program."

"I talked to coach Weis when I was up there for camp, Kemp said. "They told me that they were interested in me as a wide receiver. They were glad that I came up for the camp and they got a good feel for each other and I think we have a real good relationship started."

Kemp has the ability to play on either side of the ball in college, but he believes his best position will be receiver.

"I don't see being recruited as much for free safety," Kemp explained. "I think I'm a bigger prospect at wide receiver. I think what sets me apart from other wide receivers is not just my combination of height and speed, but it's also the physicality that I bring to the game. I have the size and speed to get over any cornerback. I think that's what makes me one of the elite receivers in the country.

"I think I'm doing well this season. In six games, I have 623 yards and six touchdowns. Our quarterback graduated last year and now we have an inexperienced quarterback. He's a senior but it's his first year starting. He's doing well. He's been hanging in there and moving around. This year I'm coming back to the ball more and then using my speed, my strength and my agility to make a play and get the yards after the catch."

Notre Dame will recruit Kemp heavily, but the Irish will have to battle the top programs in the country for his signature.

"My first scholarship was from Mizzou last spring and on September 1, I got a scholarship letter from Nebraska," Kemp said. "I've had three relatives that went to Mizzou and they're off to a great start. They're real high on my list, plus it's real close to home. I'm also pretty big on Michigan State. I also like Michigan and Clemson, Florida, USC, all the California schools are showing interest and of course Notre Dame.

"I'm just keeping my options open at this time. I'm taking my ACTs in February and if all goes well and I find my school by this summer I'll likely commit before my senior season."

IrishIllustrated.com Top Stories