Craig McIntosh's bio on the University of Kentucky athletics Web site doesn't include a picture or much background information. This time last year, McIntosh was a UK freshman focusing on Army ROTC and student government. But McIntosh earned a spot on the football team in a pre-season tryout and has stepped into the full-time role of kickoff man for the Wildcats, replacing Tim Masthay. McIntosh is averaging 61.2 yards on his 24 kickoffs, with two touchbacks. He spoke this week about his first year on the team.
Question: So just how exactly did you get to this point?
Answer: I was here last year, but I wasn't on the team. I played one year of high school at Lexington Christian, but I didn't get a lot of looks from colleges. At first, I decided not to try out at UK. I didn't know if I loved the sport. But last summer I was reading the paper and saw they needed a kickoff guy. I knew I had the potential, and I figured if I could make the team I'd have the chance to show Coach (Steve) Ortmayer that I could get the job done. I signed up on the first day of classes and made the team. I was happy just to make the team. I had no real intentions of playing this season.
Q: What made you decide to try out all of a sudden?
A: I didn't want to regret not trying. There's no harm in that. If they said no, I'd just go back to doing what I was doing. But if there's a chance, you might as well take it.
Q: What was your first kickoff like?
A: It was the Alabama game. I had the second kickoff after (Lones) Seiber's 49-yard field goal. I saw (Seiber) was warming up, and I had no intention of being out there. I hadn't played yet. I hadn't even warmed up yet. But I heard my name called and they told me to get in there. It was a complete surprise.
Q: Do you have any specific goals moving forward?
A: I'm just going to work in the off-season on strength. I know we'll have another kicker coming in, but I plan to be here the next three years and hopefully I can challenge for the job. I'm just going to continue to work hard. I've also talked to Tim Masthay and gotten some ideas from him.
Q: Does it still shock you at times that you're in this position?
A: Completely. It feels like I have two different lives. Being a Division I athlete at an SEC school, it's just crazy. I love it. It's been a lot of fun so far."