By John Stepp for the Times-Tribune
Knox Central’s Jeffrey Canady has been the most talked about player in the mountains this football season, and that talking is growing more and more with each game.
Not only is Canady Knox Central’s all-time leading rusher (2,670 yards), receiver (2,361), and scorer (68 touchdowns), he has helped lead them to their best start in the history of the school, compiling a 5-0 record this year. Doing his part, Canady has also rushed for 952 on just 91 carries while scoring 15 touchdowns.
But in Canady’s selflessness, he doesn’t take credit for his team’s accomplishments.
“That’s great that we’ve started 5-0, and are off to the best start in the school’s history, but our coaches have done a great job in making sure we practice like we’re 0-5, and keeping us uptempo and ready each week,” said Canady. “We also have a great senior class that doesn’t care to put in extra work, whether it is watching film or running routes after practice.”
With the phenomenal season Canady has pieced together, so far he has garnered a widespread buzz as one of the leading candidates for Kentucky’s Mr. Football. His coach, Scott Russell, was Mr. Football in 1991 after leading the state in rushing his senior season and has offered some advice to his star player.
“Yeah, I’ve talked to Jeffrey about that and I’ve just told him that the biggest thing about being Mr. Football is that it is really something he can’t control,” said Russell. “He just has to go at it each and every day and game and give it his best. It’s going to be tough for him because he is up against players from some larger schools in Lexington and Louisville. But it’s a tremendous honor to be named with the other candidates, and he deserves it.”
To Canady, Mr. Football would be an amazing accomplishment, but not something that he often thinks about.
“I’ve heard a lot about it, and some of the things people are saying, but I’m not going to get bent out of shape over it. If it happens, it’ll be awesome, but I’m not focusing on me, I’m focusing on the team,” said Canady. “I’m just going to keep working hard, help the team and hope for the best.”
According to Russell, the Panthers’ success is always the top priority for Canady.
“He’s a real grounded kid, and always goes out of his way for others. He’s just one of the guys and always gives credit where credit is due,” said Russell. “Jeffrey knows he is not a one man show, but a big part of our team. I guarantee if he could have a Mr. Football trophy in his hand or a state championship ring on his finger, he would take the state championship.”
Despite all of Canady’s achievements and accolades, at the forefront of his goals for the season is a district championship.
“It’s never been all about me; it’s always been about the team,” said Canady. “I just try to work hard, put in the extra time, and be a good leader. Our first goal is to win a district championship, and we’re just taking it one day at a time. I just want to help the team.”
Helping his team is what Canady does best.
By John Stepp for the Times-Tribune
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