Billy Kemp IV joins Wicks in declaring for the NFL Draft

By Jerry Ratcliffe

Billy Kemp IV (Photo: UVA Athletics)

Billy Kemp IV, who finished with the fourth-most pass receptions in Virginia history, announced Monday night that he will forgo his final year of eligibility and declare for the NFL Draft.

Kemp’s announcement came on the heels of fellow UVA wide receiver Dontayvion Wicks’ announcement (see related story) that he also planned to enter the draft. Seven other Cavaliers have entered the NCAA transfer portal (see related story and check the site for updates).

Kemp won the hearts of Virginia fans for his ability to overcome a size disadvantage (5-foot-9, 772 pounds) and quickly became a fan favorite. The former Highland Springs receiver finishes his UVA career ranked No. 4 on the Cavaliers’ all-time receptions list with 192 catches, only three behind Taquan Mizzell (195). Only Olamide Zaccheaus (250) and Billy McMullen (210) had more.

Kemp also finished 10th on UVA’s career receiving-yards list with 1,774, just behind Patrick Jeffers (1,785).

As a fifth-year receiver in 2022, Kemp’s season was cut short by a kidney issue and a nagging ankle injury that he played with in most of the seven games in which he appeared.

Kemp caught only 16 passes for 116 yards, which paled in comparison to his 2021 campaign when he hauled in 74 receptions for 725 yards and six touchdowns over 12 games. In 2020, he had 67 catches for 644 yards and a score.

He caught former UVA coach Bronco Mendenhall’s eye at a summer camp when he stood out as a tireless receiver and kick returner. While most of the coaching staff wasn’t interested in Kemp, Mendenhall was, and offered a scholarship.

Mendenhall described Kemp as one of the toughest players he had ever coached and a player who never backed down from anyone.


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