Calhoun County High School in St. Matthews, S.C., didn't win a state title in 2008, but it had college recruiters knocking down its doors.
That team featured two big-time seniors in Alshon Jeffery, a national top-100 recruit who signed with South Carolina, and Donte Rumph, a first-team All-State defensive tackle who ended up at Kentucky.
Jeffery, who has become one of the nation's top receivers, caught 35 passes for 740 yards and 14 touchdowns as a senior but was named first-team All-State as a defensive back. Rumph had 107 tackles and 14 sacks as a senior.
"It's going to be weird," Rumph said. "We grew up in the same neighborhood and played ball together. We've always been used to playing on the same team. Now we're going up against each other. It's going to a fun one."
Rumph said he hasn't been surprised to see Jeffery make a big name for himself.
"I already knew it was going to happen," Rumph said. "From the time we were kids I knew he was going to make it. We just didn't know what sport. He was good at basketball and football."
Jeffery and Rumph were also teammates on the Calhoun County basketball team that won three consecutive state championships and had a 78-game winning streak.
Cats need to tighten up in the red zone
The UK defense has allowed opponents to convert the last 18 times in the red zone, something Coach Joker Phillips said needs to change. The team spent much of practice this week on drills focusing on red zone defense.
Phillips said part of the problem is allowing too many sustained drives, like the 93-yarder against Auburn last week that ate up 71/2 minutes and allowed the Tigers to kick the game-winning field goal.
"We can't let people get in there as often," Phillips said. "18-for-18. That's way too many times getting in the red zone. You've just got to bow your neck, get some minus-yards plays and force some third-and-longs."
For Kentucky, tailback Derrick Locke (stinger) and defensive end DeQuin Evans (ankle) are listed as doubtful. South Carolina came out of its 35-21 win over No. 1 Alabama in relatively good health. They did learn this week that linebacker Shaq Wilson would miss the rest of the season with a hamstring injury.
UK will look to sophomore Donald Russell and freshman Raymond Sanders in Locke's absence. Evans had been splitting reps with Taylor Wyndham before his injury.
Cats in the SEC stats
Derrick Locke, rushing, fourth (95.7), scoring, seventh (7.0); all-purpose yards, second (174.7); Mike Hartline, passing average/game, second (240.3); total offense, fourth (246.0); Randall Cobb, receptions per game, tied for third (5.3); receiving yards per game, sixth (67.2); all-purpose yards, third (165.8); scoring, sixth (8.3); Ryan Tydlacka, punting, second (46.1); Danny Trevathan, tackles, first (9.8); tackles for loss, fifth (1.33).
Cobb, Trevathan honored by CFN
Randall Cobb and Danny Trevathan were honored by Collegefootballnews.com's Midseason SEC Awards. Cobb was named the league's fourth-best player at midseason while Trevathan ranked 10th.