Andy Kemp made his verbal commitment to Wisconsin exceptionally early in the recruiting process. So it is only fitting that he will start his Badger career early as well.
Two weeks ago Kemp decided that he would graduate early from Menasha (Wis.) High School and enroll at Wisconsin in time for the spring semester.
The Badgers are obviously smitten with Kemp, who committed just over a year ago. The early graduation process began with an e-mail from Wisconsin co-linebackers coach Brian Murphy, the assistant who has been recruiting Kemp.
"Coach Murphy e-mailed me and said call him. He has to ask me a question," Kemp said. "I called him and he said that they need an offensive line because the whole offensive line is going out and they need a right tackle. They want to see if I can graduate early and… maybe start my first year."
Four of Wisconsin's top six offensive linemen are seniors: guards Dan Buenning and Jonathan Clinkscale, both fourth-year starters, and co-right tackle starters Morgan Davis and Mike Lorenz.
The departures will leave three starting positions up for grabs next spring. Kemp will begin his career at right tackle with, apparently, an opportunity to do what no true freshman offensive lineman has ever done in the Barry Alvarez era at Wisconsin: start immediately. The first true freshman offensive lineman to merely avoid a redshirt was Joe Thomas, now the starter at left tackle.
Other potential starting right tackles in 2005 include current junior Jake Wood and redshirt freshmen Danny Kaye, Andrew Weininger and Marcus Coleman. Wood and Coleman can also play guard.
"They said even if you don't play, you know, you are going to have such a great start for first year," Kemp said.
With the option of graduating early on the table, Kemp weighed the pros and cons with his parents, who, he said, left the decision entirely up to him.
"I said I want to go and graduate early and start football," Kemp said.
He received the go ahead from Menasha High School last week, when he had it confirmed that he will have enough credits to graduate early.
"And Coach Murphy, he just called today," Kemp said. "He just called my parents and everything's smooth sailing and everything's A OK on their end and the high school end. He said it will be all great."
Kemp has reason to begin his Badger career early
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