Scottsdale RB 'hungry' for chance

Kevin Fain is a 6-0, 225-pound running back from Scottsdale (Ariz.) Community College, and by his own admission he's had a bit of a 'bumpy life'. Coming out of Palm Bay High School in Melbourne, Florida, Fain was on top of the world. He had the numbers on the field that should have gotten him a football scholarship wherever he wanted to. Problem was, he didn't have the numbers where they really counted - in the classroom.

"Coming out of high school, I was one of the top backs," Fain told tonight. "I rushed for 1500 yards, 17 touchdowns and made the All-State team. But I didn't have the grades to get to a D1 school. My coach tried to get me a partial scholarship, but I didn't have the requirements through the clearinghouse.

"I had an offer from Western Kentucky. They wanted me as a prop-48, and I didn't want to leave the state. I just wanted to stay in Florida and play at the University of Florida, because that was my Dad's dream school. So I really tried hard to get there, but I was heartbroken when I found out I didn't have the grades. It's been a bumpy road for me."

For Fain, the JC road was his next avenue, but for him it felt more like a cul-de-sac.

"I was sent out to Coffeyville to do my years to get ready to go D1," he said. "I wasn't notified that there was a 12-man out-of-state rule when I went to Coffeyville. When I got there, there were like 40 out-of-state players that were fighting for positions. Some players had already signed with some schools, so they had an advantage over players that weren't signed. Plus they were cutting players they felt they didn't want.

It was in Kansas where Fain met some gangly receiver from Columbus, Ohio. "We (Eddie Jackson) were roommates at Coffeyville for the semester I was there," he said. Little did he know that their paths were going to cross again later in life.

Back to Kevin's story. "So I got my grades up and dealt with it, and then I chose to leave to go to Scottsdale. Coach Spurlock at Coffeyville wanted to help me out, so he knew who Coach (Arna) Bontemps was at Scottsdale, so he called him up. Coach Bontemps called me up and asked if I wanted to play for them and I said yes. He told me how much money I would need to have. I have to have at least $1500. I told him that I didn't have it then but I would still try to make it out there.

"I didn't make it by the fall, which is when I was supposed to go. I tried to save money during fall term and then I had enough money during the spring so I came right out. I practiced with the team the whole spring and summer and took summer school to get my grades."

Once he was settled and ready to play, he did what he knew he could - play football. In seven games this year, he had 765 yards on 98 carries. His 40 time is 4.52, he benches 225 pounds 25 times has a 33-inch vertical and a 4.35 shuttle.

"Coaches say I kind of run like Emmitt (Smith), but I can't picture it," Kevin said, describing his running style. "Actually growing up I studied Fred Taylor and Warrick Dunn and I tried to get a combination of those two. I tried to get the quick feel like Warrick Dunn and the power and explosive takeoff like Fred Taylor."

Recruiting contact is coming strong from one main D1 school - the Washington Huskies. "I think Washington is giving me the most attention right now," he said. "Louisiana Tech is showing interest too. New Mexico. Colorado State, I haven't heard from them in a while. And Kentucky I think they are getting a high school back. I think they were choosing between getting a juco back or a high school back and I think they choose the high school route."

Kevin has an official visit set up with Washington for this weekend. "All the D1 schools that talked to me before are kind of intimidated," he said. "They have no hope based on the fact that I have this first visit to the University of Washington, so they already figure that my mind is made up that I'm going there.

"I think other schools are just waiting to see what I think of Washington before they set up their dates. At this point, there's no better school than Washington."

Steve Axman is the Washington coach that keeps in touch with Fain. "He just calls to keep me posted, checking in on me to see how I'm doing in school," Kevin said. "He said that he's excited about this trip set up and me coming to visit. I told him about my winter class that I need to take to graduate and he said that I would be about a week late, but that they can set up my schedule so that the teachers know I'm going to be a week late to class.

"I have a 2.8 grade point and I'll get my AA around January 15th. I have to take a class, a science class with a lab, and then I'll have it."

Fain doesn't have an offer from the Huskies, but thinks it could happen. "They haven't offered, not at this moment," he said. "I think they are still evaluating my transcripts to make sure I can get in."

And if they do offer on his visit? "I would take it in a heartbeat. That's all I'm waiting for. That's all I need is one chance. I still don't think coaches know what I can really do.

"They just need to know that I'm hungry and that I'm ready to ball."

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