Cole Mosier had his share of "why me?" moments in high school.
Considered a solid prospect with interest from big schools, the offensive lineman tore up his left knee at the end of his sophomore season.
"I couldn't go to any camps or combines, so I didn't really get out until I started going to camps my senior year," the former standout offensive tackle, defensive tackle and punter at Walton-Verona said this week.
That meant Mosier had lots of offers from NAIA schools, but none of the offers he had dreamed of early in his high school career.
Those small-school offers weren't enough for him.
So when Kentucky offensive line coach John Schlarman came calling and offered preferred walk-on status, it made Mosier's ears perk up.
It wasn't that he grew up a big Kentucky fan.
Really, the 6-foot-6, 348-pounder wasn't a fan of any college team, just football in general.
And those small-school offers were nice, but he wanted more.
"I felt like I needed to prove more to myself than I could just playing at a small school," he said.
Turns out Mosier was right all along, and now he might get his chance.
The lineman is running with the second team at right guard behind fellow redshirt freshman Ramsey Meyers and could be much more than that by the time he's finished at UK.
"He was an absolute steal for us," Schlarman said. "Felt like we found a diamond in the rough from day one with him. He's proven that over and over. He's a very hard worker."
Mosier caught the eye of his offensive coordinator, too.
"We're lucky to get him," UK's Neal Brown said of Mosier this spring.
"He's going to play for us, whether it's this year coming up, I don't know, but there's going to be a time when he's going to play a lot of football around here."
Kentucky's offensive coaches are most impressed by Mosier's ability to pass protect, something one might imagine is quite important in an offense tabbed "Air Raid."
"That was his biggest area of improvement coming into the spring," Brown said. "He had a tendency to kind of lean in pass (protection) and that's when he gets beat, especially by more athletic people. He's done a good job fundamentally getting his head back and his change of direction has gotten better."
For his part, Mosier has tried to focus less on the "why me?" moments and instead focus on the "why not me?" moments that he's sure he will find in a Kentucky uniform.
"I believe in myself," he said. "I just keep working hard and trying to do the best I can every day."
Jennifer Smith: (859) 231-3241. Twitter: @jenheraldleader. Blog: ukfootball.bloginky.com.