University of Kentucky senior receiver Dicky Lyons Jr. can be the life of the party just by being himself. But Lyons showed at the AutoZone team welcoming party on Monday night that he can also get the party started by imitating someone else.
Lyons, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in the South Carolina game, won the Elvis impersonator contest at Jillian's, out dueling East Carolina's Melvin Patterson.
"He had everything down, the moves, the gyrations and everything," UK defensive end Jeremy Jarmon said. "He told me he got XM Radio this year and listens to Elvis all the time."
Even UK Coach Rich Brooks was impressed.
"It was shockingly good," he said. "Talent I didn't know he had."
Jarmon won the Xbox 360 competition by narrowly defeating East Carolina's T.J. Lee 10-7 in College Football 2009.
The game was a barn-burner, as Jarmon won on a Lones Seiber field goal on the final play.
"I was able to just drive the ball and eat up clock, and I got to the 5-yard line and ran a lead off tackle to get the ball in the center of the field so Lones could kick the game-winner."
The game-winning kick set off a celebration that included an exuberant Seiber cheering on.
Senior safety Marcus McClinton also performed a solo R&B number that was well-received.
"Marcus is good; I've told him he needs to try and find him a record deal while he's down here," Jarmon said. "He needs to hook up with Stax Records or something."
The Wildcats did suffer its first loss in three years of bowl event competitions when they were defeated by East Carolina in bowling.
"Coach Brooks wasn't too happy about that, either," Jarmon said.
Coaches and parents might frown on student-athletes spending so much time on video games, but Jarmon said he believes it actually helps him on the football field.
"It gives you a wide variety of football knowledge," Jarmon said. "There are things that I see in those games that I might only see one or two times a year, so I know what to expect, and when I get out there a lot of times you can tell I'm standing up and looking over the formations before I get my hand down because I'm going through my mind all the scenarios that come up. A lot of NASCAR drivers they're known to use those games because they have the race tracks set up on those games exactly like they are in real life so they know exactly where they need to brake."
Jarmon said he knew a lot about East Carolina from playing College Football 2009.
"The funny thing is, me and a few other players had an online dynasty set up (on College Football 2009), and we're playing in Conference USA, so we knew who was good on East Carolina's team just based on the game," he said.
Brooks pleased with Tuesday practice
The Wildcats had its third practice in Memphis on Tuesday, and Brooks said it was the team's best to date.
"It was a lot better than yesterday, which is a good sign," he said. "We're getting a lot closer to the game, and the energy and enthusiasm was very good."
Brooks said that for the most part the team has played like it has practiced during the week.
"Pretty close," Brooks said. 'There have been a couple of minor surprises, and unfortunately one of them was in the last game (at Tennessee)."