Highland Springs’ Billy Kemp growing into major role as junior at Virginia


RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Billy Kemp’s attitude is ‘Heart Over Height.’

That’s served the 5-foot-9 junior well, first at Highland Springs, where he won two state championships, and then in his current role at the University of Virginia.

“I really think that was instilled in me back in high school, back at Highland Springs,” Kemp said of his mindset. “We have great players coming out of there every year. Every day there is competition.

So it’s either compete or basically get left behind. That’s how it is there, so I really feel like a lot of that confidence came from back in my hometown.”

Kemp played on special teams as a true freshman and then caught 35 passes for 289 yards and a memorable touchdown against Virginia Tech as a sophomore.

Now, he’s on the top of the depth chart at one of the Cavaliers’ wide receiver positions and also as a punt returner.

“It all started from, really, when I got here,” Kemp said. “I’ve been behind great guys and great role models, being on with Olamide Zaccheaus and, last year, Joe Reed, so them really just teaching me the ropes and just taking notes and watching them develop, I feel like that’s really helped me develop into the role that I’m in now.”

Kemp and the Cavaliers open their season on Saturday, hosting Duke at 4 p.m.

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