HOOVER, Ala. — Kentucky senior cornerback Trevard Lindley isn't known as a big talker. So when the school announced that Lindley would be representing UK at SEC Media Days, more than a few media members expressed surprise. Heck, even Lindley himself was surprised when Coach Rich Brooks came to him with the idea.
"I was shocked when he asked me," Lindley said to a small group of local media shortly before he was scheduled to meet the national horde of reporters. "He asked me if I could handle it, and I told him, 'Yeah.' I'm going to try and give more than three or four words. We'll see how it goes. It might be tough because I'm not used to talking in front of a whole bunch of people, but I think I can be pretty good at it."
Senior offensive lineman Zipp Duncan, who also made the trip, said his teammates have been giving Lindley some good-natured ribbing leading up to Media Days.
"We just told him that nothing more than three or four words is a good answer," Duncan said. "I think he's been trying to put a bunch of sentences together."
Brooks said he decided to take Lindley both as a show of gratitude and as a prep course in dealing with the media for what figures to be a lengthy NFL career.
Lindley was projected as a second-round pick in this year's draft but opted to return for his senior year.
"He's probably the best returning cornerback in the nation," Brooks said. "He made a tough decision to return, and I think I owe it to Trevard to expose him to what he's going to be exposed to at the next level."
Before Lindley even said a word, the first thing that stood out about him was his size. His lack of strength and physicality had been one of his few perceived weaknesses, but Lindley looked thicker in the shoulders and said he weighs 190 pounds, 15 pounds heavier than he was at the end of last year.
"As long as it's good weight I feel like I can play with it," Lindley said.
As for the media session, Lindley handled himself well. While he still won't be confused with Chris Rock, and he didn't swallow a fly or tell any stories of a bizarre dream involving Matthew Stafford a la Dicky Lyons, Lindley appeared relaxed, smiled, and even drew rounds of laughter on several of his answers.
"We're not going to make a media darling out of Trevard, but he's intelligent and can communicate," Brooks said. "He just doesn't like long sentences."