Marcus Kemp interview: Chiefs WR stays realistic yet determined

TUCSON, AZ - SEPTEMBER 17: Wide receiver Marcus Kemp
TUCSON, AZ - SEPTEMBER 17: Wide receiver Marcus Kemp /
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ANNAPOLIS, MD – NOVEMBER 09: Cornerback Myer Krah
ANNAPOLIS, MD – NOVEMBER 09: Cornerback Myer Krah /

How much time have you taken to reflect on where you’re at these days? Is it ever surreal to think that your job right now is to wake up and try to make an NFL team?

A lot of us have been dreaming of where we are since we were kids growing up in the sport. Just being here where I’m at is a blessing really. I’m fulfilling parts of my dream, but then again I’m a realistic person so I understand that I haven’t made it yet. There are a lot of steps I have to take and a lot of things ahead of me to fulfill my main goal. But I do feel like I’ve accomplished at least something I’ve been thinking about for years. I’m happy and trying to take every day as a blessing, to step back and realize that I’m living a dream that a lot of people have. I need to relish that fact.

Does that dream go far back for you?

I started playing football at six-years-old and my father was a football, so I’ve always wanted to play since I was a little kid. When the teachers asked the kids what they wanted to do, I always had two responses. The first was to be an NFL player, but then when they said it was unrealistic, I always needed another answer. So it’s been a dream since I was a kid, and I’ve always had a great support system to remind me I could do this and that I was capable. I thank my family and friends and support system that I grew up with.

From when you closed your career against Middle Tennessee State last winter to this point in Chiefs camp, do you feel you’ve grown a lot as a player? If so, in what sort of areas have you improved the most?

As a player, not that much has changed. It’s only been a couple months and I expect I’ll grow as I go on through the sport. But I do think as a person that things have changed because when you’re in college, you’re not treated the same as when you’re in the NFL. The NFL is a professional business, so you’re treated as a professional. It’s a lot different, so you have to change your mindset from being taken care of in college, getting your hand held through every process, to the NFL where everything is your responsibility. You have to take accountability for everything that you do. That’s the biggest difference.

As a player, not much has changed, because coming out of college, if you can’t play in the NFL, you don’t deserve to be on the team. I feel like our skill set as players coming out of college should be at a level where we can compete in the NFL. Of course, we will grow and learn a lot as we continue to practice, but I don’t know if the physical is as much as the mental.

Had you heard much from the Chiefs in the offseason?

After pro day, I feel like the Chiefs were probably the team with the highest level of interest in me. They talked to me a little more than some other teams and gave me some tests, so I felt like going into the draft, if I had the chance to land on the squad, it would likely be the Chiefs. Of course, I did have a few other teams with interest, but we felt like the Chiefs were really where I was going to end up.