UK football notebook

UK football: Phillips hints at a surprise

Cats often pick up a recruit or two near signing day

Herald-Leader Staff WriterJanuary 31, 2010 

  • Name Pos.Ht. Wt. Hometown Rating (Rivals.com)
    Mychal Bailey DB 6-0 206 Summit, Miss. 2 stars
    x-Tyler Brause QB 6-4 220 Bucyrus, Ohio 3 stars
    x-Alvin Davis DE 6-4 225 Jesup, Ga. 3 stars
    x-Nermin Delic DE 6-4 220 Dalton, Ga. 3 stars
    x-Mike Douglas DE 6-5 225 Largo, Fla. 3 stars
    Teven Eatmon OL 6-7 280 Bucyrus, Ohio 2 stars
    Brandon Gainer RB 6-0 194 Miami, Fla. 3 stars
    x-Josh Gibbs DB 6-0 200 Santa Clarita, Calif. 3 stars
    x-Justin Henderson DE 6-4 228 Bamberg, S.C. 3 stars
    Farrington Huguenin DE 6-4 240 Columbia, S.C. 2 stars
    x-Jabari Johnson LB 6-2 220 Stone Mountain, Ga. 3 stars
    x-Brice Laughlin DT 6-3 270 Summerville, S.C. 3 stars
    x-Joseph Mansour K 6-3 174 LaGrange, Ga. 2 stars
    Tim McAdoo DT 6-2 310 Murfreesboro, Tenn. 3 stars
    x-Malcolm McDuffen LB 6-3 205 Hopkinsville, Ky. 3 stars
    x-Tim Patterson LB 6-5 225 Louisville, Ky. 3 stars
    x-Jerrell Priester RB 5-9 170 Fairfax, S.C. 3 stars
    Tyler Robinson TE 6-4 250 Alcoa, Tenn. 2 stars
    Donte Rumph DE 6-4 260 St. Matthews, S.C. 3 stars
    Raymond Sanders RB 5-8 175 Stone Mountain, Ga. 3 stars
    Ronnie Shields TE 6-5 220 Stone Mountain, Ga. 2 stars
    x-Eric Simmons DB 6-0 185 Atlanta, Ga. 2 stars
    x-Miles Simpson RB 6-2 210 Independence, Ky. 3 stars
    x-Alex Smith TE 6-5 260 Cincinnati, Ohio 4 stars
    Ryan Smith ATH 6-2 208 Cordova, Ala. 3 stars
    Dale Trimble DB 5-10 175 Gadsden, Ala. 3 stars
    x-Avery Williamson LB 6-2 220 Milan, Tenn. 3 stars
    x-has already signed letter of intent
  • UK's last four classes

    Here's a look at Kentucky's past four recruiting classes and a breakdown of who never made it to campus, who left before completing their eligibility, who completed their eligibility and who remains on the roster.

    2006

    Never made it to campus: WR Marckus Boswell, ATH LaRay Foote, DB Corey Goodson, DB Ameer Salahudin, WR LaShun Watson RB Demetrius Goode, TE Chris Goode, LB Chris Mosby

    Left before completing eligibility: WR Michael Strickland, WR Darrell Stevens, DE Jamil Paris, WR Terrence Jones, DE Josh Minton, QB Will Fidler

    Completed eligibility: DE J.D. Craigman, DB Calvin Harrison, WR Steve Johnson, OL Justin Jeffries, LB Micah Johnson, TE T.C. Drake, DT Corey Peters, DB Ashton Cobb, DB A.J. Grigsby, K Lones Seiber

    Still on the roster: QB Mike Hartline, DT Ricky Lumpkin, LB Brandon Thurmond

    Notes: Peters, Micah Johnson and Steve Johnson turned into standouts, while Harrison and Jeffries were solid contributors. This group of wide receivers didn't pan out at all, something that has hurt the Cats the past couple of seasons.

    2007

    Never made it to campus: ATH Duran Jefferson, DL D.J. Stafford

    Left before completing eligibility: LB Chris Cessna, DB Chris Drayton, OL Phillip Hibbard, RB Brandon Jackson, OL Josh Winchell, DL Charles Mustafaa

    Completed eligibility: OL Jess Beets

    Still on roster: RB Moncell Allen, LB Jacob Dufrene, OL Brad Durham, DL Antwane Glenn, OL Stuart Hines, OL Jake Lanefski, WR Kyrus Lanxter, QB Matt Lentz, DE Greg Meisner, WR Anthony Mosley, OL Billy Joe Murphy, LB Ronnie Sneed, DB Antonio Thomas, K Ryan Tydlacka, ATH Greg Wilson, RB Derrick Locke

    2008

    Never made it to campus: DL Donte Rumph

    Left before completing eligibility: WR Eric Adeyemi, QB DeAunte Mason

    Notes: The rest of the 2008 class remained on the roster as of the Music City Bowl on Dec. 27, 2009.

    2009

    Never made it to campus: DL Donte Rumph, WR Justin Bean, LB Demetri Merritt, TE Terrell Mitchell, RB Josh Morgan

    Notes: Rumph, who has failed to qualify after signing with UK the past two years, is reportedly still trying to get himself cleared to finally become a Wildcat in 2010.

  • 2010 UK schedule

    Sept. 4 at Louisville

    Sept. 11 AKRON

    Sept. 18 WESTERN KENTUCKY

    Sept. 25 at Florida

    Oct. 2 at Mississippi

    Oct. 9 AUBURN

    Oct. 16 SOUTH CAROLINA

    Oct. 23 GEORGIA

    Oct. 30 at Mississippi State

    Nov. 6 Open

    Nov. 13 VANDERBILT

    Nov. 20CHARLESTON SOUTHERN

    Nov. 27 at Tennessee

Kentucky has made a habit of pulling off a last-minute surprise or two on national signing day.

Linebacker Ronnie Sneed and defensive lineman Charles Mustafaa were late additions in 2007, and UK got a verbal commitment on the eve of signing day from defensive end Collins Ukwu in 2008.

Last year, Kentucky reeled in cornerback Martavious Neloms from Memphis the week before national signing day, and tailback Jonathan George's name didn't pop up until his letter of intent arrived at UK on that Wednesday.

Kentucky Coach Joker Phillips hinted at another possible surprise or two in his first official recruiting class during an appearance on the Joe B. and Denny Show last week. Fans might have to wait until Wednesday to find out for sure, but don't expect UK to add any more junior-college prospects to its class. The Wildcats brought in safety Josh Gibbs for the spring semester and haven't offered scholarships to any other junior-college recruits.

Kentucky is holding a scholarship for one of its primary areas of need, running back. One of its targets, four-star prospect Rajion Neal (Tyrone, Ga.) committed to Tennessee last week. Internet rumors had another four-star tailback target, Rajaan Bennett (Powder Springs, Ga.), committing to Vanderbilt but nothing had been confirmed as of Saturday.

UK is said to have two more running backs on its board: three-star prospect D.J. Howard (Lincoln, Ala.), an Auburn commitment, who was scheduled to visit Lexington over the weekend for the UK-Vanderbilt basketball game, and Simon Kenton's Miles Simpson. UK, Illinois and Indiana are reported to be Simpson's final three, and he visited Illinois last weekend. But nobody has been able to get a read on Simpson's recruitment, as both Simpson and his high school coaches have been evasive with the media. Not even the UK staff is sure of his plans, but there still seems to be hope in the Wildcats camp that Simpson could sign with Kentucky on Wednesday.

Another possibility is three-star athlete Jerrell Priester (Allendale, S.C.). Priester committed to Vanderbilt but has been listening to UK's pitch.

Kentucky also is still working on four-star defensive tackle Mike Thornton (Stone Mountain, Ga.), who's down to Georgia, UK and Penn State. Three of Thornton's teammates at Stephenson High School (Raymond Sanders, Jabari Johnson and Ronnie Shields) have committed to Kentucky, and Sanders said last week that he's still trying to convince Thornton to sign with the Cats.

Cats lose, gaina commitment

UK lost a member of its 2010 class when cornerback Anterio Sloan revoked his commitment last week. Sloan, a West Helena, Ark., native, is listed as a four-star recruit by Rivals.com but reportedly has grade issues. He has offers from only two Southeastern Conference schools, Kentucky and Mississippi State.

Meanwhile, Kentucky Ink's Jeff Drummond reported on Friday that the Cats picked up a commitment from Farrington Huguenin, a 6-foot-4, 240-pound defensive end from Columbia, S.C. Huguenin, who is not ranked by any of the major recruiting services, had offers from UK, South Carolina State, North Carolina A&T and North Carolina Central. Huguenin had 121 tackles, three forced fumbles and an interception for Dreher High School. While grades were reportedly a major reason many of the FBS schools did not extend a scholarship offer to Huguenin, he did put up decent numbers at a recent Nike Combine in Charlotte, N.C., according to ESPN.com. He ran a 4.9-second 40-yard dash (on a slow surface) a 4.27 20-yard shuttle, a 31.6 inch vertical leap and a 39-foot power throw.

Recruiting rankings

Kentucky has 22 commitments to date, and its recruiting class is ranked 72nd nationally by Rivals.com. That puts UK last in the Southeastern Conference. Scout.com ranks UK's class 52nd but also has them last in the SEC.

Senior Bowl update

Two former Wildcats, cornerback Trevard Lindley and fullback John Conner, participated in Senior Bowl activities last week. While the game was Saturday afternoon, NFL scouts did most of their evaluations in practices during the week.

Lindley didn't receive high marks early in the week according to ESPN.com's Chris Low, who wrote: "One former SEC player who didn't receive high marks from the Scouts Inc. crew on Tuesday was Kentucky cornerback Trevard Lindley, who's been stiff in his hips and hasn't shown top-end speed or great athleticism. The Scouts Inc. crew thinks he may drop into the later rounds."

ESPN.com's Todd McShay said that Conner could be picked up in the last few rounds.

"He's going to be one of the top fullbacks, but the problem is there's not a big market for the position," McShay said. "He struggled some in pass protection, but he's a dominant blocker who will absolutely knock guys around."

Academic honor roll

Fifteen UK football players were named to the 2009 Academic Honor for Fall Sports: Ross Bogue, Clay Cecil, Marcus Davis, Brad Durham, Daryl Faulkner, Antwane Glenn, Stuart Hines, Matt Lentz, Greg Meisner, Billy Joe Murphy, A.J. Nance, Corey Peters, Tyler Sargent, Patrick Simmons, Taiedo Smith.

Chip Cosby covers UK football for the Herald-Leader. This article includes his opinions and observations. He can be reached by e-mail at ccosby@herald-leader.com.

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