February 5, 2012

Is Kemper a Black Knight or not?

Aaron Kemper knew Army runs the triple option and that he'd be a perfect fit for the offense when the Black Knights began recruiting him.

The 5-foot-6, 205-pounder played in a triple-option at Cincinnati (Ohio) Winton Woods High School.

"The coaches told me they like how I come from the same offense," Kemper said. "They said I already know the offense and that will be a big help when I get there."

The only holdup to Kemper's commitment is he's not from a military family and thus had to give the idea of the academy lifestyle and a military commitment some thought.

But after visiting West Point over the weekend, he says he's comfortable with the decision to sign with Army. He also received interest from Kentucky and Ohio.

"I got to know a lot of the cadets on the trip and saw how they've bonded with each other," Kemper said. "I liked the facilities and everything about the trip."

Kemper's 5-6 height suggests he's a Darren Sproles-like scatback, but he'd played fullback since his sophomore year at Winton Woods and relishes the role.

"I'm a hard runner," he said. "I'm a fullback. I don't see myself as an outside guy at all. I'm pretty fast, but I like fullback because I would get about 20 touches a game. I'd rather be in the trenches than outside. Since I'm small, people have a hard time hitting me. And my legs are strong so I can bounce off of people."

And like savvy short backs such as Sproles, Kemper also has learned to use his linemen as a shield from defenders that can't find the ball and then pop out into the clear.

"We had some big linemen, and I could hide behind them on some plays," he said.

If Kemper wasn't 100 comfortable with his decision before the trip, he said he was by the time he had dinner with the cadets on Saturday night.

"I liked the relationship I saw they had with each other," he said. "I could see myself fitting into their shoes."

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