Central at Dutchtown FB Sam Kenerson

Central High's quarterback Sam Kenerson (14) committed to South Alabama where he's projected to play cornerback.

Contingency planning is an effective way to minimize the effects of unexpected events.

For Sam Kenerson, a senior-to-be who has been a part of Central High athletics since he was a freshman, it’s also part of the approach he used during his recruiting process.

Kenerson, who has excelled in football and baseball for the Wildcats, committed to play football for South Alabama on June 25 over offers from Army and Georgia Southern among others. He is South Alabama’s 16th commitment in the Class of 2020, and is the Jaguars highest rated recruit according to 247 Sports.

Central FB Samuel Kenerson


A gifted athlete capable of playing several skill positions, Kenerson has played quarterback during his time at Central, but was recruited to play defensive back by the Jaguars. He was advised to look at all of his options by Central coach Sid Edwards.

“(Edwards) told me I should go wherever I thought I would succeed the most in academics because football can only take me so far,” said Kenerson, who plans on majoring in kinesiology with an eye on becoming a physical therapist.

“He told me to make sure I had a plan B, and I feel like (South Alabama) will give me a great opportunity for that if football doesn’t work out.”

Kenerson’s family also played a role when they made sure he had their support regardless of which school he chose.

“My mom told me, ‘It doesn’t matter if you’re 30 minutes away or 30 hours away, we’re still going to make our way down wherever you’re at.’ So, basically it was my decision.”

Located in Mobile, Alabama, South Alabama’s campus is approximately a three-hour drive from Central.

As a junior, Kenerson passed for more than 1,500 yards with 11 touchdowns and rushed for more than 800 yards with eight TDs despite getting banged up and missing action in the latter part of the season. He was also listed as one of the standouts among 200 prospects at the Louisiana Bootleggers 7-on-7 showcase in January, where he split time at receiver and cornerback.

It all points to what should be a promising senior season for Kenerson, who expects Central to be creative in finding ways to get him the football in the open field.

“This year, I’m going to be more spaced out on the field,” he said. “I’ll play quarterback some, running back some, even some wide receiver.”