With the Blue-White Spring Game in the rearview mirror, the University of Kentucky football program is officially in off-season mode.
Most of the coaching staff is on the road during the monthlong spring recruiting period. And with final exams now complete and with UK's graduation ceremonies this weekend, many of the players will head home.
Some players will stick around for UK's four-week summer session that starts Tuesday, but those players will have to work on their own as no staff-supervised workouts are allowed in May.
Things will pick back up in June when the eight-week summer session begins, which coincides with the start of summer workouts (conditioning drills, pass skeletons, etc.) that can be supervised by strength coach Marc Hill.
The Wildcats coaching staff will also be holding summer camps during June. Summer workouts will take the Cats through July, and pre-season activities get going with Southeastern Conference Media Days July 22-24 in Birmingham, Ala. UK Coach Rich Brooks and two Wildcats players yet to be named will address the media July 22.
Fall camp is tentatively set to begin the first week of August.
Matthews, Evans on way
UK recruits Chris Matthews and DeQuin Evans, teammates at Los Angeles' Harbor Community College, are set to arrive in Lexington on June 22 to start classes and summer workouts.
"We'll both be on the same plane," Matthews said.
Matthews and Evans were both among the nation's top 15 junior-college recruits and will be counted on to come in and pay immediate dividends.
While both players will need to come in and learn the system, Matthews appears to be physically ready to contribute. He said he stands 6-foot-5, weighs 215 pounds and ran a 4.35 40-yard dash during a recent workout at Harbor College.
"As soon as I get in, I'm going to get with the other receivers to find out what's going on and see how things are supposed to go," Matthews said. "I'm not going to come in acting like I know everything."
The 6-foot-3, 260-pound Evans should be a candidate to start at defensive end opposite Jeremy Jarmon.
Matthews and Evans both got an in-home visit from UK future head coach Joker Phillips in Los Angeles last Saturday.
"That really meant a lot," Matthews said. "We've already signed, so it's not like they still have to recruit us. But it shows me that they actually care about their players. They don't want us there just to play football and leave. They want to start a family."
With seven UK assistants on the recruiting trail (Brooks isn't allowed on the road during the spring recruiting period) and summer camps on the horizon, things should be picking up on the recruiting front over the next couple of months.
UK has one commitment, 6-4, 228-pound defensive end Justin Henderson from Bamberg, S.C. The Wildcats probably will extend more scholarship offers once spring recruiting is done and they can evaluate players more closely in camp. Here's a list of players who reportedly have offers from Kentucky for 2010:
Tim Patterson, LB, Central, 6-5, 225, four-star recruit by Scout.com (also has offers from Louisville, Arkansas, Cincinnati, Indiana and Purdue).
Austin Collinsworth, Athlete, Highlands, 6-0, 180, three-star by Rivals.com (Louisville, Cincinnati, Stanford, Vanderbilt).
Miles Simpson, RB, Simon Kenton, 6-2, 195, three-star by Rivals.com (Cincinnati, Indiana, Louisville, Central Michigan, Western Kentucky).
Mike Douglas, DE, Largo, Fla., 6-3, 225, unranked (Central Florida).
Quantavious Leslie, WR, Hogansville, Ga., 6-4, 180, three-star Rivals.com (Clemson, Louisville, West Virginia, Oklahoma State).
Tim McAdoo, DT, Murfreesboro, Tenn., 6-2, 315, unranked (UK only offer to date).
Dyjuan Lewis, WR, Indianapolis Pike, 6-3, 186, four-star by Rivals.com and Scout.com (Michigan State, Purdue, Illinois, Colorado, Missouri, South Carolina among many offers).
Trevaughn Brooks, RB, Crystal River, Fla., 5-11, unranked (Central Florida).
Malcolm McDuffen, LB, Christian County, 6-3, 206, three-star Rivals.com (Western Kentucky, Purdue).
Rajaan Bennett, RB, Powder Springs, Ga., 6-0, 211, three-star Rivals.com (UK only offer to date).
Robert Johnson, WR, Hattiesburg, Miss., 6-1, 196, (Mississippi, Mississippi State, Southern Miss, Tulsa).
Nick Dew, S, Virginia Beach, Va., 6-2, 183, three-star Rivals.com (Maryland, Louisville, Purdue, Syracuse, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, East Carolina).
Alfy Hill, DE, Shallotte, N.C., 6-4, 222, four-star by Rivals.com and Scout.com (Alabama, Clemson, LSU, Michigan, Maryland, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, North Carolina among many offers).
UK also is involved with Alex Smith, a 6-foot-5, 230-pound tight end from Cincinnati's Lakota West High School. Smith, a four-star recruit by both Rivals.com and Scout.com, committed to Cincinnati in February but visited Kentucky during spring practice.
Ex-Cats start NFL mini-camps
Several former Wildcats participated in NFL rookie mini-camps last weekend: Myron Pryor and Marcus McClinton (Patriots), Johnny Williams (Jaguars), Tim Masthay (Colts), Ventrell Jenkins (Bills), Garry Williams (Panthers), and Braxton Kelley (Broncos).
Pryor suffered a minor calf injury in last Friday's workout but fully participated in Saturday's drills.
David Jones will participate in the Baltimore Ravens' mini-camp from June 16-18.
Lindley, Micah Johnson receive pre-season All-America honors
Senior cornerback Trevard Lindley has been named first-team pre-season All-America, and senior linebacker Micah Johnson is an honorable-mention pre-season All-America choice by NationalChamps.net.
Lindley received second-team All-America and first-team All-Southeastern Conference accolades during the 2008 season. He had four interceptions and 11 pass breakups last year and led the SEC in total passes defended per game.
Johnson was a first-team coaches All-SEC selection in 2008. He totaled 93 tackles and ranked third in the SEC in tackles per game. He also had 13 tackles for loss, leading the team and ranking fourth in the league in that category.
Hart, Masthay, McAteeachieve academic recognition
Long snapper Brad Hart, punter Tim Masthay and cornerback Robbie McAtee have been named to the Hampshire Honor Society by the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame.
The Hampshire Honor Society recognizes players from all levels of college football who were in their final season of eligibility in 2008 and were either a starter or significant reserve.
Hart, a two-year starter as a long snapper, is graduating this weekend with a degree in finance and has a 3.91 grade-point average. He will attend law school next year and is deciding between offers from UK and Vanderbilt.
Masthay, currently with the Indianapolis Colts, is graduating with a degree in economics and a 3.82 GPA.
McAtee was a valuable reserve nickel back at UK. He completed his degree in sociology with a 3.67 GPA and has a 4.0 GPA while studying for his master's in public administration.
UK Coach Rich Brooks recently announced on his Twitter account that McAtee has been selected for a summer internship with Illinois senator Dick Durbin.
The annual UK Football Women's Clinic has been set for Aug. 1. Details are still being finalized, but here are some items of importance:
■ Lunch is included in the clinic fee.
■ A vendor selling UK items will be set up for shopping.
■ Check-in will begin at 8:30 a.m., with the clinic ending at about 4 p.m.
Contact Lisa Ellis at Lisa.Ellis@uky.edu or by calling the football office at (859) 257-3611.
Chip Cosby covers UK football for the Herald-Leader. This article includes his opinions and observations. He can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.