Five UK football players you know; five players you will know

jsmith3@herald-leader.comAugust 28, 2012 


Maxwell Smith: After a flat debut early (think two interceptions in four passes against South Carolina), the QB showed near the end of the season that he could be a leader and inject some life into a listless offense. With the entire playbook and some potential playmaking receivers available to the sophomore, he could impress.

La'Rod King: A new baby and some added weight had King as a question mark during the spring, but the senior receiver has impressed his coaches and teammates this fall with his leadership and playmaking ability. The Cats say they don't want a "go-to receiver" per se, but they have one in King.

Larry Warford: Coaches love Warford and his fellow senior offensive lineman Matt Smith so much that they sent the big guys down to SEC Media Days to represent the team. The duo has been vital in teaching a young, inexperienced line and will be leaned on heavily, especially early.

Martavius Neloms: You knew him as a safety and now you'll know him as a cornerback (again) after that position suffered some personnel setbacks. Neloms is one of the fastest players on the team and returns as its top tackler after getting 71 last season.

Mister Cobble: Teams started adjusting their game plans by the middle of last season, trying to work around Cobble (line-high 33 tackles last season) and fellow junior defensive tackle Donte Rumph (31 tackles). A year stronger and a few pounds lighter could make both of them SEC forces.


Demarco Robinson: The diminutive (5-foot-10) but speedy receiver showed flashes of being something special last season, but more often than not, he showed he was still a freshman. He made big plays in the spring and has been a star in fall camp.

Bud Dupree: Of the linebacker's 21 tackles last season, 14 of them came in the last three games of the season when he earned a starting nod, including five each against Vanderbilt and Georgia. Look for that trend to continue this season.

DeMarcus Sweat: Coaches didn't want to talk about freshmen too much in fall camp, but this freshman name kept accidentally slipping out because he kept impressing. He could be a big-name receiver and returner for UK by the end of the season.

Justin Taylor and Dyshawn Mobley: Speaking of freshmen, coaches (again who were trying to be mum on newbies) couldn't stop talking about these two freshmen running backs and how they are able to "move the pile." They looked the part of SEC running back before they arrived on campus and they will both see action this season.

Darrian Miller: When one All-SEC offensive lineman (Warford) says this of another — "He's going to be a great player; he'll be an All-SEC guy, I promise you that" — you can pretty much bank on him. Big things are expected and needed from the former Bryan Station standout this season.

Jennifer Smith: (859) 231-3241. Twitter: @jenheraldleader. Blog:,

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