Mr. Kemp comes to Madison

Mammoth right tackle will dive right into college career this spring

Andy Kemp was the University of Wisconsin football program's first verbal commit for the class of 2005. He will soon become the first of his future classmates to officially join the Badgers.

Kemp, one of the top prospects in the Midwest, has planned since September to enroll at UW a semester early in order to participate in spring workouts.

The 6-foot-6, 320-pound offensive tackle will arrive in Madison Saturday and start his first semester of college Tuesday. Although national letter of intent signing day is still more than two weeks away, Kemp, who recently graduated from Menasha (Wis.) High School, will follow in the footsteps of current freshmen Sean Lewis and Jameson Davis and get a semester head start.

Reached at his home in Menasha Friday night, Kemp said he was "pretty pumped" to be heading to Madison early. "It's pretty cool," he added.

Kemp has plenty of motivating factors in front of him and reason to be "pretty pumped." The departure of fifth-year seniors Morgan Davis and Mike Lorenz opens up a starting spot at right tackle and Kemp has his eye on that position. Kemp is not going to be anointed the starting right tackle, however. He will have to compete with young, talented linemen such as Kraig Urbik, Andrew Weininger, Danny Kaye and Mike Van Someren.

But if Kemp wins the right tackle spot, he would become not only the second true freshman offensive lineman to ever play under UW head coach Barry AlvarezJoe Thomas is the other—but the first to start.

"Yeah, it's a huge motivation factor," Kemp said. "I talked to Joe Thomas when I was down for my official visit and he explained to me what are the expectations and what, just doing everything you can, do everything that you're not asked, just do as much as you can.

"It helped me a lot, just to know there is a spot. I'd love to start, it'd be nice but on the other hand, if I don't start, then as long as I'm helping the Badger line as best as I can, it will be nice."

Kemp has been working out at Menasha Acceleration, Strength and Speed. He is bench pressing 430 pounds and squatting between 610 and 620. He has not been timed in the 40-yard dash since the summer, when he ran a 5.03.

"I work out at the speed and acceleration camp (MASS) and I feel really good," Kemp said. "I feel probably the best I've felt in a long time. That's really huge."

"I'm going to be training as hard as I can to just maybe get a starting spot, maybe not," Kemp said. "But like I said, just being there … a semester early is going to be nice."


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