Growing up in the small Texas town of Brownwood — where Pop Warner football had no presence — Kenny Vaccaro’s early athletic endeavors began in an unexpected direction. He started running at the age of four and soon his mother, Alesia, had him running competitively and playing soccer. He excelled at both. But the Longhorns’ hard-hitting senior safety — whose uncle A.J. Johnson won a Super Bowl with the Washington Redksins — had football in his blood. “He was a great soccer player,” Alesia says. “He could’ve gone far in soccer but that was never it. It was always football. He played soccer like a football player. He’d mow the other players over if they came near him. He’d go through them to get the ball and they rarely ever came back near the ball after that.”
During his sophomore year at Brownwood High, Vaccaro realized he had the
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