HOOVER, Ala. — Nobody wanted Missouri senior cornerback Kenya Dennis out of high school.
Dennis — a native of the tiny Mississippi Delta community of Leland, Miss., with a population of fewer than 5,000 people — didn’t garner any NCAA Division I offers.
He wound up at Hinds Community College, a two-hour drive from home in Raymond, Miss., where he blossomed into one of the top junior-college defensive backs in the nation and eventually earned his way onto the Tigers’ roster.
For Dennis, the chance to play at an SEC school was a dream come true. Attending SEC Media Days?
Never miss a local story.
“I never dreamed it,” Dennis said Wednesday, where he was one of three Missouri players invited to the four-day preseason media spectacle at the Hyatt Regency’s Wynfrey Hotel.
The SEC Media Days aren’t entirely new to Dennis.
“I actually remember being at home, watching Mississippi State do their media days when I was in junior college,” Dennis said. “Me and my dad (Herman Nunn) would watch those guys. I was thinking about it then, but I never really thought I would be here and representing a team in the SEC. … I’m just happy and blessed to be here.”
Dennis — who had 61 tackles, including 4 1/2 for a loss, along with an interception and nine pass breakups — is also eager to make a name for himself.
He quickly became a starter last season for the Tigers and believes he’s part of perhaps the SEC’s best cornerback tandem along with junior Aarion Penton.
“I feel like we should be considered some of the top guys in the league …,” Dennis said. “We both had great years last year, so I definitely feel like we should be in the talk of the best defensive backs in the league.”