Dicky Lyons Jr. has carved himself quite a niche as the University of Kentucky football team's resident class clown over his five-year stay. Lyons' run is coming to an end — his Senior Night is Saturday — but UK might already have his replacement.
Freshman defensive back Winston Guy has quickly gained renown for his zany personality and, at times, less-than-serious approach.
"Winston's got a really good personality, but I'd like to see him mature and grow up a bit, just like most freshmen," UK Coach Rich Brooks said.
"It's hard to explain Winston," Kentucky senior cornerback David Jones said. "You just never know what's going to happen next."
Guy admits to being a little off-the-wall at times.
"I'm just a goofy guy," he said. "I try and keep everybody smiling and make them laugh. Sometimes when there's a time to be serious, I'm still joking around."
Guy is also showing similarities to Lyons in a more important facet: the ability to make big plays. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Lexington Catholic product has seen spot duty at cornerback and safety this season, but Guy provided a much-needed boost to Kentucky's return game in last week's 42-38 loss to Georgia.
After the Bulldogs scored early in the fourth quarter to take a 35-31 lead, Guy took the kickoff and bolted 96 yards to the Georgia 4-yard line. Randall Cobb scored on a 1-yard keeper three plays later to give the Cats their last lead of the game.
Brooks said Guy might get a chance to return punts this week against Georgia in addition to kickoffs.
"He's becoming a force," Brooks said. "He's big, he's physical, he can run, and he's really good with the ball in his hands."
Guy, who originally committed to Arkansas, was listed as a four-star prospect out of high school, and UK's future head coach Joker Phillips said that's an accurate reading of Guy's talent level.
"I think he might be the most talented kid in this class, as far as a kid you think that can play at the next level," Phillips said. "He's the one kid in this class who has all the tools: height, speed, athletic ability, hands, toughness."
"He can drive you crazy sometimes because you'd like to see him more serious, but really, he's a guy that everybody loves being around. And I'll say this: He will work. When we're out there doing drills, he wants to get every rep."
With two starters, Jones and free safety Marcus McClinton, in their last season of eligibility, Guy should be in a position to make a play for a spot in the UK secondary in 2009 once he gets a little more seasoning.
"He's got an extremely bright future; he just needs a spring at one position where he can really learn it, but he's going to be a really good player for us," UK defensive coordinator Steve Brown said. "The whole concept of playing scheme defense was new to him. He was just rushing off the edge at Lexington Catholic or going deep on a pass. Now, he has to learn a little bit more than that."
Pryor still ailing
UK defensive tackle Myron Pryor (high ankle sprain) participated in about half of Wednesday's practice and might be available only for backup duty Saturday, Brooks said.
Sophomore Ricky Lumpkin will probably start in Pryor's place.
Extra value for your ticket
UK fans with a ticket to the football game against Vanderbilt will also receive free admission to Saturday's women's basketball game versus Michigan (2 p.m. start) and Sunday's volleyball match with Florida (1:30).
Senior Cat Walk
The final Cat Walk of the season will take place at 5:45 p.m. Saturday at Gate 1.
Fans are also encouraged to be in their seats by 7:30 for the Senior Night festivities honoring the 21 Wildcats playing their final game at Commonwealth Stadium.
Masthay finalist for Wuerffel Trophy
UK punter/kicker Tim Masthay is one of 13 finalists for the 2008 Wuerffel Trophy, a national award that honors the college football player who best combines exemplary community service with outstanding academic and athletic achievement.
The winner of the award, named for former Florida quarterback Danny Wuerffel, will be announced Dec. 9.
Brooks to draw first blood
UK Coach Rich Brooks will be the first official blood donor of the 21st annual Big Blue Crush, the yearly blood-drive competition between Kentucky and Tennessee fans.
Brooks will donate blood Thursday at Kentucky Blood Center's Lexington Donor Center, 3121 Beaumont Centre Circle.
Big Blue Crush 2008 is Monday, Nov. 17 through Friday, Nov. 21.
A representative of the Chick-fil-A Bowl will be at Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday to scout the UK-Vanderbilt game. The Chick-fil-A Bowl is Dec. 31.