September 5, 2017
ANN ARBOR — We have our first confirmed injury of the 2017 season.
Michigan defensive end Carlo Kemp has been playing through a broken right hand he suffered while jamming it on the shoulder pads of Juwann Bushell-Beatty the first week of camp, he told reporters on Tuesday.
The 6-foot-3, 264-pound sophomore is wearing a padded glove on his hand these days, an upgrade over a cast.
“I’ve been wearing the club, but now I’m back to the (glove),” Kemp said. “I’ve got my fingers and my thumb out now.”
Kemp said he only missed one or two days of practice after, “to let the swelling go down,” but has been limited in his day-to-day activities away from football. Classes began on Tuesday, and he’s right-handed.
“I just had to learn to use the left hand, which was a struggle,” Kemp said. “It looked pretty bad. A lot of scribbling. A lot of open interpretations in my notes on Florida. And a lot of scribbling.”
He seems just fine on the field, though, doing enough in camp to earn himself a spot in the playing rotation at defensive end. Kemp backed up preseason All-American Rashan Gary in the season opener Saturday against Florida, even notching his first collegiate tackle.
And given Michigan’s depth on the defensive line, he takes his job seriously.
“You want to make sure that when the starters come out, they feel confident that the person that is going in behind them is going to succeed,” Kemp said.
“When Rashan comes out, I want him to feel like he can get his breather. And when he checks in, he can do what we all know he can do at the highest level without being exhausted.”
Kemp has some mentors in the family he’s trying to impress, too. The Boulder, Colorado, native is the nephew of Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano and San Diego Chargers defensive coordinator John Pagano.
As you might imagine, football and tough love runs in the family. Their advice for him?
“They said they would not draft me,” Kemp said. “That’s been the greatest thing. I’m always working to change their minds one day.”
Good thing, because he has three seasons to try and change their minds.