Courtney Love’s best quality isn’t his play on the football field. That’s amazing to say for a man who was a 4 star recruit coming out of Cardinal Mooney and who also played college ball for Nebraska and Kentucky. Courtney’s best attribute is his humanitarian nature. He makes everyone’s life around him better. The measure of a man isn’t his 40 time, how many tackles he records or his bench press. The measure of a man is how many lives he can have a positive impact on.
Courtney had a rough upbringing. He had run away from his mother’s house and was being raised by a single dad, who was later incarcerated. Most young adults that go through that scenario often turn out to be a burden to society. They’ll look down the wrong paths for acceptance and friendship, often leading to troubled lives. That was far from the case with Courtney, who says “It made me grow up in a hurry.”
Courtney grew into a man before he needed to, and that has caused him to be the natural leader he is today. Numerous Kentucky football players have personally said how much they look up to him and the persona he had within their locker room. Courtney was Kentucky’s thumping middle linebacker the last two seasons at Kentucky, but he says he’s got more to his game than that.
When asked about other skills he’ll bring to the table in the NFL, Love said “I’ve been showing people that I can cover in space and cover running backs out of the backfield”. He hopes a team uses a late round pick on him in this weekend’s NFL draft, as he’ll be watching closely with his family at home. He has heard mostly from the Broncos, Chargers and Dolphins. He says his dream was always to play for the Steelers, his favorite team. But he goes on to say “I’d be blessed with any opportunity I get to play at the next level, honestly. No matter where I go, I’m going to go in and compete.”
You’d think a thumping middle linebacker would be a rugged, hard nosed person off the field, right? Well, with Courtney, you couldn’t be more wrong.
Courtney is a large human being, 6’2” 245 pounds to be exact. But his heart may be larger. Courtney has turned all of the negative experiences from his childhood into positives for everyone he meets, always trying to bring a smile and happiness to other people’s lives. Right now, he’s mentoring a kid in Kentucky that he has a special connection with. The young man and Courtney relate beyond measure. They were both brought up from single parents and have dealt with parental incarceration. “When I first met the kid, he got in my car without his seatbelt on, pants below his waist and didn’t know the words yessir or yes ma’am. Now, he reminds me to put my seatbelt on, dresses properly and always tells me yessir.” This tells you the kind of impact Courtney has on people just by being around them.
Love has done community service in Lexington and other places in Kentucky, but he says his favorite service besides the kid he mentors was his mission trip to Ethiopia. “It was amazing, I loved every minute of it and I definitely plan to go back” he says.
Courtney Love was the recipient of an award that’s more important in the grand scheme of life than a Heisman…the Wuerffel Trophy. The Wuerffel Trophy is an award given annually to the college football player “who best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement.” An award that recognizes someone’s willingness to help make a better life for others is the best award one can receive. He will use this award to continue his good works, saying “It opens up a platform for me to do more and share more with others”.
Despite always trying to help others, Love felt like he himself was helped out tremendously whenever he got to Lexington. After leaving Nebraska, he found his true home was at Kentucky. “Coach Stoops and Coach Marrow, I had known them since I was 7 to 8 years old. It really felt like home whenever I got here, because I try to be friendly with everyone. It was a huge transition because all of the people here are great people. The staff and administration were very welcoming to me from the first day. It was all love from everyone and I try to reciprocate that every chance that I get. We are all family.”
When asked about what his favorite memories of Kentucky were, you’ll easily see that Courtney is more than a football player. His first answer wasn’t even about a football game. “Helping out with the Special Olympics was a big moment. And, you know, just getting to win with my team. Beating Louisville was another big highlight, that was a big week. Also, just being a family. Coach Stoops really implements the family atmosphere and not just here. When he recruits, he recruits the whole family. I’ve grown close with recruits we have coming in now, and also their families. Even though I’m not playing for the university, they still have that support and that encouragement.”
He says “If I could take back one play, it would be a sack I missed against Florida last year. That game was a tough loss”.
Courtney says the young players he’s most impressed with on the current team are DeAndre Square and Walker Wood. “I’ve gotten real close with DeAndre and his family. He came in early and just busted his tail. He’s going to be a great player, just keep on climbing the ladder.” On Walker Wood, Courtney says “Offensively, I love Walker Wood. He just continues to get better. He’s obviously not in a spot for the starting role, but he’s just a guy that plays his role and doesn’t complain and just continues to work and work and work. I think, regardless of football, he’ll be successful one day.”
Courtney Love hopes his legacy among BBN is “A player who was selfless, giving and a leader. A guy who put it all out there for the university and, outside of football, just being a person of God and giving it all I could give.”
Kentucky fans all across the Commonwealth will be hoping to hear Courtney’s name called in this weekend’s NFL draft.