Meet Kennington Smith, our new Hawkeyes reporter from the heart of SEC country

Meet Kennington Smith, the newest Hawkeyes beat writer for the Des Moines Register.

Growing up, one of my favorite childhood books was ‘Oh, The Places You’ll Go!’ by Dr. Seuss, a story of a nameless main character navigating through various landscapes on the adventure of life.

“You have brain in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”

The book’s theme can be applied to any facet of life, but I’ve especially applied it in my professional career: sports journalism. It’s a field that allows you to choose your own path: radio, print, television, etc., but also can open doors that will take you places that you’ve never imagined.

I’m born and raised in the heart of the South: Fayetteville, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta. But through my brief journalism career I’ve seen the bright lights of New York City, the favelas of Rio De Janeiro, Brazil and now I’m ready for my newest adventure in the Midwest.

“Congratulations! Today is your day. You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away!”

I’m so excited for my new venture covering the Iowa Hawkeyes football and men’s basketball teams for the Des Moines Register and USA TODAY Network. I’ve only been to the Midwest once in my life, on my visit to Iowa City before accepting this position. I’ll miss the South, but I cannot wait to see what new experiences lie ahead in this next phase of my journey.

Before I go any further (and I cannot stress this enough), please send me suggestions on how to navigate winters up North. I’m from Georgia. An inch of snow is considered a statewide crisis.

Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Kennington Lloyd Smith III. It’s a name passed down from my great-grandfather and something I take great pride in. It’s even garnered acclaim from one of college football’s top personalities, but we’ll get into that shortly.

My full name is Kennington but depending on where I am my name can change. To my friends I’m Kenny or Ken, on social media I’m known as SkinnyKenny or in my free time I’m DJ Octane providing any sounds the occasion calls for.

But one thing that will never change is my burning passion for sports and storytelling. My passion has afforded me opportunities that I couldn’t have imagined.

I’ve interned at Sports Illustrated and been published in that revered publication, I’ve traveled with the Associated Press to Rio De Janeiro for the 2016 Summer Paralympic Games, telling stories of some of the most determined athletes in the world. I spent two years freelancing for the Atlanta-Journal Constitution on the Atlanta Falcons beat, interviewing the league’s biggest stars like Matt Ryan and Julio Jones.

Most recently, I called Anderson, South Carolina home. I covered high school sports where my reporting landed me on the Paul Finebaum Show on SEC Network several times. In my most recent appearance, Finebaum himself proclaimed Kennington Lloyd Smith III as “The best name in the industry.”

I’m a University of Georgia graduate. SEC country is all I’ve known. However, I’m more than ready to immerse myself into Big Ten culture and, most importantly, covering sports for one of the most passionate fan bases in the country.

I’m ready to see Kinnick Stadium on a game day, I’m looking forward to following Hawkeyes hoops in the tough Big Ten and I’m excited to see an Iowa wrestling match whenever I have some down time.

I never would’ve imagined that Iowa would be a destination on my journalism path, but I’m so happy that it is.

I can’t wait to see what happens while I’m here.

“So… be your name (Kennington), or (Kenny) or (Ken) or (DJ Octane), you’re off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So… get on your way!”

Let’s go!

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Kennington Smith is the new Iowa Hawkeyes beat writer for the Des Moines Register. You can connect with Kennington on Twitter @SkinnyKenny_ or email him at