Right next to the “John 3:16” written on athletic tape above Kash Daniel’s locker in the Paintsville High School fieldhouse is another, less familiar, reference.
It reads, “Austin 3:16,” the play-on-words slogan of former pro wrestling superstar Stone Cold Steve Austin that proclaimed he was going to “whoop” your backside.
Those who have spent any time at all with Daniel — one of UK’s top signees for the class of 2016 — wouldn’t have any trouble picturing him in a pro wrestling ring.
Daniel — an intense player on the football field and a sometimes brash interview once the game is finished — says he often hears from folks who think he could have a future in the world of sports entertainment.
The 6-foot-3, 230-pound linebacker certainly looks the part, and pro wrestling has a long history of turning one-time football players into superstars.
“Oh, yeah,” Daniel said. “They say, ‘Well, if you can’t make it in pro football, you can definitely make it in wrestling.’ I get intense sometimes when I’m doing those interviews. If it sounds like I’m cutting a promo for the WWE, it’s not on purpose. I just get carried away.”
The best case of that came after Daniel scored the game-winning two-point conversion to beat rival Pikeville this past season. Immediately after the game, he was interviewed by WYMT-TV, and it sounded like something straight out of Wrestlemania.
Daniel has been a fan of the genre for as long as he can remember. As a self-proclaimed “weight-room freak,” he identifies with the size, conditioning and athleticism of current-day pro wrestlers.
And then there’s the promos. “I like to talk a bunch of crap,” he said.
Does he think it’s a legitimate career path once his own football days are finished?
“I’m not going to lie to you,” he said, “that’d be pretty badass.”