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December 15, 2013

Dennis wowed by Mizzou visit



2014 Hinds Community College (Miss.) cornerback Kenya Dennis committed to Missouri back in late June. At the time, he had not been to Missouri. That changed this weekend, as he took his official visit to Columbia.

"I mean, wow," Dennis said when asked how the visit went. "It was great. A very good experience. Nice people up there. It's a great school and a good environment to be in."

Even the few inches of snow were not enough to put a damper on the weekend.

"It was my first time seeing snow in a minute, but it was okay. It was warmer than I thought it would be," said Dennis.

Official visits are extremely organized with all most each minute of the trip planned. It makes for an informative, yet busy weekend.

"We came in Friday afternoon and all the recruits and the coaches got together to have dinner. I had a position meeting with Coach [Cornell] Ford and he broke down the defenses and the schemes they ran," explained Dennis. "Kind of giving me a feel of what they would be doing next year. He also showed me how to play the right technique. Basically it was a film breakdown of what they do on defense."

"Saturday we went to view the campus and see where everything was, like the library and the student union," he continued. "They also showed us the dorms and how to best get around campus. Then we talked with academic advisors and professors from whatever field of study you were interested in. They broke down the criteria and what you have to go through to graduate. After that we toured the facilities and saw the uniforms. It was nice."

Junior to be Ian Simon was Dennis' host on the trip and with bowl practice not starting until Monday, Dennis got to spend a lot of time with the current players.

"They're great guys. Down to earth guys. They are real brothers, I can tell you that," the number 95 ranked player in the Rivals Junior College Top100 said. "They're really together. They stick together and they watch out for each other. If anyone needs anything they'll do their best to try and help each other out."

The choice of the weekend host is not random, as Dennis said the coaches see him playing the nickel spot that Simon played extensively this past season. He is still considered a corner, but because of his size and tackling ability the coaches want to use him in the slot.

"[Cornell Ford] said he is really looking at me to play the nickel spot for them. Line up over the slot guys most of the time," explained Dennis.

Dennis hopes to come in and make an immediate impact. In order to do that he has a few ideas of what he will need to do.

"First of all, I need to buy in to the program and see what their system is like," he said. "Do right and respect everyone. Just work hard because we are going to hit the ground running in the spring. I know spring workouts aren't no joke. I just feel like I need to work hard and become a better player. A smarter player. Learn all the plays and make sure I know where I'm going and where I'm supposed to be at the right time."



It was a very successful season for Hinds, finishing 7-3 and making their first bowl game appearance since the 90's. Dennis was a big part of the success as he helped lead a defense that only allowed 20 points per game.

"It was a great season for us at Hinds. [Making a bow] was something we hadn't done since 1997, so it was real big for us. A lot of guys got D1 offers. Guys are graduating, It was a pretty good year for us. The bowl experience was great. It was a great team that we played. It was just an experience that you'll never forget. It feels good to win. Half of [Hinds] came with us to Texas," said Dennis.

Next up for Dennis is a signing ceremony this coming Wednesday with his family, coaches and teammates. After that comes the holidays and a planned report date of January 17. Dennis will be joined by Brandon Lee, Logan Cheadle, Michael Fairchild, Marvin Zanders and Andy Bauer as early enrollees.

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