The University of Kentucky football team reports to fall camp on Thursday, and it's still up in the air just exactly who will show up. UK has 27 players signed for its 2010 class, and 23 of those are good to go for the fall. Coach Joker Phillips should learn the fate of the remaining recruits with academic problems sometime early this week. Only 25 signees can enroll for the fall semester.
Phillips is waiting to see whether redshirt freshman defensive tackle Mister Cobble, a projected starter, will be academically eligible in 2010. Summer school doesn't end until Thursday, but the UK coaching staff isn't counting on Cobble. He was listed third-team on the pre-fall depth chart.
Here's a look at the 23 newcomers already on campus:
Justin Henderson, DE, and Josh Gibbs, S: Henderson and Gibbs enrolled in January and participated in spring practice. Henderson showed enough that he'll be penciled in as a backup at end as a true freshman while, at worst, Gibbs figures to be a key reserve at both safety spots.
Tyler Brause, ATH: Will be given a look at quarterback; likely redshirt candidate.
Alvin Davis, Nermin Delic and Mike Douglas, DE: Davis, Delic and Douglas are all around the 225-pound range and need to add some meat to their frames. Unless injuries start to crop up at defensive end, all three players are likely redshirt candidates.
Teven Eatmon-Nared, TE/OL: While listed as a tight end, Eatmon-Nared is huge (6-7, 280) and could wind up at tackle before all is said and done. Likely redshirt candidate.
Brandon Gainer, Raymond Sanders and Miles Simpson, RB: At least one of these true freshmen figures to make the travel squad. A lot will depend on who picks up the offense the quickest. Gainer is the most highly ranked of the three, the underrated Sanders is the most versatile, and Simpson is the most physical.
Brice Laughlin and Donte Rumph, DT: The fact that Cobble is unlikely to play in 2010 all but guarantees that Laughlin and Rumph will be given a chance to see the field in the fall. What kind of shape Rumph is in is anybody's guess but, after waiting two years for him to arrive, there's no way he sits for another season.
Joe Mansour, K: The staff signed Mansour and planned for him to take over placekicking duties as a true freshman and, if he kicks the ball in person anything like he does on film, that will happen.
Jewell Ratliff, Jabari Johnson, Avery Williamson and Malcolm McDuffen, LB: Ratliff, who sat out last year after originally signing with Louisiana-Lafayette, has reportedly had a strong off-season and will challenge for time in a linebacking corps that needs some depth. The fate of Johnson and Williamson will be determined in fall camp. The coaching staff loves McDuffen's athleticism, but he'll need a redshirt year to learn the system and add some weight on his 205-pound frame.
Jerrell Priester, Dale Trimble and Eric Simmons, CB: UK appeared to have pretty good depth here in the spring, but that took a hit with the loss of senior Paul Warford to academics. Trimble and Priester are talented enough that they probably would have played even if Warford was around. Priester can also be a major contributor on special teams and is skilled enough to play offense.
Alex Smith and Tyler Robinson, TE: Perhaps no position on the team is more open for newcomers to step in immediately. Smith is considered the gem of the class and will play. Robinson, who reportedly has looked good over the summer, shouldn't be counted out either.
Ronnie Shields, ATH: Shields will probably redshirt and figure out what position is best for him.
Now an update on the four signees who have yet to qualify:
Tim Patterson, LB: Patterson is extremely close to a qualifying test score. His fate might be determined by the results of an NCAA appeal.
Mychal Bailey, DB: Bailey is still awaiting results from the final two classes he took at Southern Union State Community College this summer. The 6-foot, 185-pound LaGrange native would challenge immediately for a starting spot at safety.
Farrington Huguenin, DE: UK knew Huguenin was a long shot to qualify when he signed, and he will probably go to a prep school or junior college.
Tim McAdoo, DT: McAdoo was much in the same boat as Huguenin, a player UK hopes it can place somewhere and later get on campus.
Georgia athlete commits
UK received a commitment on Thursday from Nile Daniel, a 6-foot, 185-pound athlete from Griffin High School in Georgia. Daniel is listed as a three-star recruit by Rivals.com and had offers from UK, Maryland, South Florida and Troy. Daniel told Rivals.com that the Wildcats could use him on offense, defense and punt and kick returns. He is Kentucky's 14th known commitment for its 2011 class.
Women's Clinic a success
A record crowd of about 350 attended the Kentucky Football Women's Clinic on Saturday. The event, which started in 2002, included offense, defense and special teams seminars by the UK coaches and players and a seminar on officiating with SEC official Ben Oldham.
UK players who attended the clinic included Randall Cobb, Derrick Locke, Mike Hartline, Morgan Newton, Ryan Mossakowski, DeQuin Evans, Winston Guy and Ryan Tydlacka.
"It was the most organized and beneficial as far as what we learned," said Louisville resident Noel Jolly, who was attending her third Women's Clinic.
UK's annual Fan Day festivities will take place on Saturday at Commonwealth Stadium. Gates will open at 5 p.m., with an open practice from 6-8, likely the only open practice of the fall. After the practice, players will sign autographs until 9:30, followed by fireworks.