The advent of Cameron Kenney’s football career can be traced back to a missed field goal his junior year of high school.
Except Kenney, who will join the Oklahoma football team this summer and challenge immediately for a starting spot at wide receiver, didn’t kick the ball.
In fact, he wasn’t even on the field.
Focused on a soccer career, Kenney decided not to go out for football that season. Instead, he watched as Dacula High School rolled all the way to the Georgia state semifinals.
"I was really big into soccer,” Kenney recalled during a phone interview with The Oklahoman
. "I didn’t think I had a future in football.”
But that state semifinal changed his thinking.
From the stands, Kenney, likely the team’s place-kicker that season had he played, watched as Dacula misfired on a 30-yard field goal that would’ve tied the game with 3 minutes left. Instead, Brookwood pulled away to advance to the state championship.
"That killed me,” Kenney said. "Just killed me.
"Right then, I decided I was going out for football my senior year.”
In the end, Sooner fans could sure be thankful he did.
As a senior, Kenney thrived as Dacula’s Renaissance man. He started at wide receiver and cornerback. He kicked and punted. He even returned kicks and punts.
Because he only played one year of varsity football, college recruiters never came calling. But Kenney was having too much fun to give up the sport again.
"I loved it,” he said. "I didn’t have any offers. But I figured I would go to some school somewhere for football.”
That school turned out to be Garden City (Kan.) Community College, where over the last two years the 6-foot-2, 195-pound Kenney transformed himself into one of the top junior-college wide receivers in the country, thanks to the development of his physical style and sure hands.