Kenneth Horsey Named Finalist for Pop Warner College Football Award

Kenneth Horsey Named Finalist for Pop Warner College Football Award

Senior offensive guard Kenneth Horsey is one of the three finalists for the 13th annual Pop Warner College Football Award, announced by Pop Warner Little Scholars, the nation’s preeminent youth football organization. The award is presented to the student-athlete who has displayed extraordinary leadership on the football field, in the classroom and in the community.

Founded in 1929, the Pop Warner organization has a strong commitment to academic achievement as well as success in football. The award represents the ideals Pop Warner athletes have long embodied.

Horsey, who hails from Sanford, Florida, has a remarkable comeback story that has inspired his community service work for heart health.

In the spring of 2018, before he was to arrive at Kentucky for his freshman season, he was complaining of a pain in his side. His parents rushed him to the emergency room where doctors ultimately found a growth on one of his heart valves. He went through open-heart surgery on April 8, 2018 and was even told by a few doctors that his football career was over. However, Horsey would not be deterred. He came to Kentucky and redshirted the 2018 season with a goal of earning a starting job on Kentucky’s offensive line, affectionately known as the Big Blue Wall. Since then, he has lost 50 pounds and because of his hard work and dedication, has earned a starting role on the Big Blue Wall in 33 consecutive games.

Because of his heart condition and how supported he felt through his surgery and recovery, he began volunteering with the Lexington chapter of the American Heart Association in 2020. In 2021, Horsey was awarded the Finn Collier Service Award by the AHA in recognition of his work to support its lifesaving mission – to be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. He also was named to the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team for his volunteer work with the AHA.

Here are a few of his community service events:

  • Participated in American Heart Month and National Wear Red Day (2020-2023)
  • Participated in the American Heart Association Heart Ball (2022-2023)
  • Participated in the 2021 Central Kentucky Heart Walk Digital Experience (2021)
  • Coordinated and planned a hands-only CPR training for the UK Football team and staff (2021)
  • Helped plan a Hands-Only CPR media availability on June 14 that promoted Hands-Only CPR awareness to the media for CPR Awareness Month (2021)
  • Participated in the 2021 Central Kentucky Heart Walk Digital Experience (2021)
  • Spoke at Central Kentucky Heart Walk kick-off event (2020)
  • Spoke at UK Healthcare Heart Walk kick-off event (2020)
  • Dedicated his 2020 football season to Finn Collier, a seven-year-old who lost his life to heart disease
  • Volunteered at Brenda Cowan Elementary and Cassidy Elementary (2020)

Horsey, who has elected to return to Kentucky in 2023 for his sixth year of eligibility by taking advantage of the NCAA’s ruling to grant an extra year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, graduated in December of 2021 with a degree in communication. He is currently working on a master’s degree in social work.

In 2018, Kentucky tight end C.J. Conrad won the award after volunteering with the Kentucky Children’s Hospital.

The Pop Warner Little Scholars National College Football Award will be presented in May as part of the organization’s All-American Scholars celebration, which recognizes Pop Warner student-athletes for their academic accomplishments.

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