Updated: Dec 19, 2020
This week on Real Talk with QBV, Kevin Mensah joined us. He is currently the starting running back for the UCONN Huskies!
In 2018 Mensah became the first running back since 2011 to have 1000-yards. He totaled 1045 yards on 225 carries and scored six touchdowns for the Huskies. Then in 2019, Mensah became the first Husky running back to rush for at least 1,000 yards in back-to-back seasons since Jordan Todman accomplished this in 2009.
With his this year being canceled to the pandemic, he's hopeful for next season and is continuing to put the work in despite the situation. He talks about what the Huskies are doing during this crazy time, some advice for young athletes, and much more!
How did you view UCONN when they recruited you?
“I was a late recruit so they recruited me July of 2017 right after I graduated Highschool. They told me straight up if you come to UConn you will have the opportunity to play early and that was an opportunity that I didn’t want to miss. They have shown me, love, since January on my senior year in Highschool so you know to pay them the respect I had to go there commit and give them all I got.”
What's a team you feel a little rivalry against when you play them?
“I would say the UMass game that is always a rivalry at this school. There were a lot of games that felt like rivalries but I would say UMass and ECU (Eastern Carolina).”
What was your recruiting process like?
“My coach gave me opportunities to go to camps and stuff like that so I took that opportunity and showcased my talent. Trusting his words, doing the right thing, and focusing on school. I can’t lie school is very tough for me, but focusing on school and just doing the right things you know. A lot of schools were recruiting me, a lot of big schools and people don’t know this but I was actually ready to go to Michigan my senior year, that didn’t happen though and I went to UConn, and ever since its been great.”
Any advice for kids going through the recruiting process?
“Schools very important without school there is no football so make sure that education is very important to you. It transferred from the classroom, the more prepared you are in the classroom the more prepared you will be for the game.”
What is your Major at UConn and what are your plans for it?
“Human development in family science is my major. I am using it as an in for law school. I am big on the law and stuff like that.”
Who do you see yourself as in comparison to an NFL player?
“This is tough he is an old back but I see myself as Ricky Williams. His power and speed you know I feel like we have the same and then his awareness of seeing the holes and being patients too.”
What are your favorite run play, route, and formations?
“I like everything but I am a power guy. In my high school, we ran double-wing so it was different. I like spread a lot same with I formation I like the downhill running. You can do a lot with those formations as well. For a route, I would have to say the out route.”
What are some things you do to help the younger guys around the program? Do you view yourself as a mentor?
“I mean I don’t really talk a lot, I lead by example. So just doing the right things, being the first to the classroom, and making sure your name is never on a bad list. Also just being a leader on the football team, if you show the young kids that, they will want to grow up and be like that and want to be that type of leader for the team. It goes a long way for the team and it helps the team win.
How are you Adjusting and staying busy?
“Just by grinding you know, doing everything. Trying to stay on top of classroom stuff but thinking of it as a regular spring off-season. Just grinding. Just doing what you normally would in the spring, you guys know how it is, schoolwork, offseason workouts, keeping your head down and try not to think about the season that was supposed to happen."
"You have to think about how you are going to get better and take that approach every day. We were able to have a mini spring practice, we just had to cut it short because of the cases at school. We ended up getting some good work in and see guys who improved over the offseason. We have to keep that approach and keep the same feeling for next season.”
What motivates you to want to be better? Or to be great?
“My family, just being able to provide for them or have the opportunity to provide for them in the future. That makes me want to keep going. I could be the one to change their life that keeps me going too.”
Favorite game or moment at UConn?
“The game against UMASS last year, I don’t know that game was personal to me. I felt like that was a game I had to go off.” Mensah scored 5 touchdowns this game.
“At the hotel, I like to listen to calm music, like meditation type of music, and then I will switch it to pop music as we get closer to the stadium. I won’t listen to rap until we get on the field though, I don’t like to get amped up to far from the start of the game. Also, I won’t talk to anyone I like to be alone and once we get on the field and do the pregame warmups, that’s when I start to get amped up. It takes me a while but it’s worth it.”
I use to be a video game guy but now I have a little piano and I’m learning to play it. It’s more so for meditation and just relaxing. I enjoy playing the piano and making my own type of music and beats.
What has helped you over the years progress? Whether it's in the weight room or a drill you do?
“Film, just learning the game, as you get older the game gets faster and more technically and things like that. I have to know what you're doing on the field and be comfortable/ confident. Just learning more about the game, learning more about what you have to do."
"Say if your an offensive guy learning what the defense does like what coverage they run and stuff like that. The more confidence you have In yourself the more you're ready to go out there and play. I been training at this place called Exceed and they have been working my speed and agility.”
Do you have any suggestions for seniors going into their freshman of college?
“Prepare like you going to a game next week, you know what I mean to have that edge. That fight you want to play your freshman year and don’t just think about football. Think about how you're going to attack the classroom, think about how you're going to study and balance everything you need to."
"If you can do that in the classroom it will translate to the football field. Then the more confidence you have on the field the faster you can play and the more people you will Impress. Just take care of stuff in the classroom and you will see it come out on the football field.”
The goal of your football career and life after UCONN?
“Definitely end goal is to go to the league, I been training extra hard, waiting for the next season and just keeping my head down. I’m ready to show people what I got.”