It's been a wild summer for Kevin Mensah.
The ESPN Boston All-State running back first thought he'd be re-classifying at Cheshire Academy, in Connecticut, but instead moved back home to Worcester to stay close to his family and finish out his high school career.
When that move happened, it seemed like he'd obviously return to Holy Name, especially after he and the Naps came within one play of winning the Division 4 Central championship a season ago. But Mensah decided to make a change, enrolling at Shepherd Hill, assuring that he'll play in Central Mass.'s toughest league, and get to run behind one of the region's premier offensive lines, all in a familiar scheme.
For Mensah, that means a better chance of achieving his dream of playing Division 1 football.
"I will miss Holy Name and I will miss going to school with my friends, but it's not about me. It's about my family and my future," Mensah said. "A lot of people (may) think it's rude, but I know a lot of families out there that cannot pay for college, (so) us athletes who want to play at a higher level gotta do what we can to go to college for free. It's not about football sometimes, it's about your family and your education."
Shepherd Hill cannot comment on Mensah joining the team until his MIAA transfer waver goes through, and that paperwork is currently in Holy Name’s hands. The Rams begin camp Friday with even loftier expectations thanks to the high-profile transfer.
The Rams are coming off a rare non-playoff season, but remain loaded with talent, boasting Boston College commit Alec Lindstrom, younger brother of starting BC guard and former ESPNBoston Lineman of the Year Chris Lindstrom.
Shepherd Hill's "Double Wing" attack has produced some of Central Mass.'s most dominant rushing attacks in recent years, and that should suit Mensah, who thrived in a similar scheme for three years at Holy Name under Mike Pucko. Mensah totaled 1,508 yards and 14 touchdowns last fall, averaging over 10 yards per carry.
As for recruiting, Mensah has already received scholarship offers from Bryant University and Kentucky Christian, but is hearing from Boston College, UMass, Syracuse, UConn and Northwestern. The new Shepherd Hill back plans to at least visit UConn this fall. He also visited BC last weekend.
"One thing I will always remember from Holy Name is 'you're loved at school, loved at home and loved by God.' I believe in that because it's true," Mensah said. "You gotta always follow our dreams, and that's what I'm trying my best to do."