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When Life Gives You Lemons: Missing out on Damien Harris

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UK missed on arguably the biggest recruit of the Mark Stoops era, but still ended up with a star-studded backfield.

NCAA Football: Vanderbilt at Kentucky Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

I know Damien Harris is a sensitive subject for Cats fans throughout the country.

The young man was supposed to stay home. He was supposed to bring us back to glory. But who can fault a kid for doing what’s best for him. He’s been a great back at Alabama so far, just two years in. That leaves Kentucky fans wondering what might have been.

Or does it?

Enter Boom Williams and Benjamin Snell Jr. We all knew Boom was going to be good. After last season, and increased activity, we thought he would be one of the best backs in the SEC.

Averaging 7.1 yards per carry, he has been a consistent part of Kentucky’s revamped rushing attack. He is still quick as a cat and can leave tacklers grasping at air in open space. His most important role, however, may be on the sidelines. He’s been a mentor to the up-and-coming back on the roster.

Benjamin (Benny) Snell came into the program as a 3-star recruit. He had offers from other local schools, other Power 5 schools, but chose to come to Kentucky. Does he do that if Harris is here?

There’s no way to tell but I can almost guarantee he would’ve gotten more playing time had he gone to Cincinnati or Iowa. The bruiser decided to come to UK and has made one heck of a difference.

He’s become the enforcer, breaking the will of all opponents that try to tackle him. He comes in late in the game to seal the deal.

In a true tandem effort, these two have combined for 1108 yards, averaging a healthy 6.5 yards per carry. The duo has also managed to get into the end zone 8 times this season.

They have been nearly unstoppable. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt this comfortable with the ball in the hands of two young kids.

Instead of wondering what could have been with Harris, I’m looking forward at what is yet to come with these two young Cats.