UK Football

These UK and EKU players are roommates. Now they have to play against each other.

Kentucky quarterback Drew Barker (7) was a high school teammate at Conner with EKU wide receiver Cameron Fogle.
Kentucky quarterback Drew Barker (7) was a high school teammate at Conner with EKU wide receiver Cameron Fogle. aslitz@herald-leader.com

The enemy sleeps down the hall.

He shares the same refrigerator.

At least for this week for Kentucky quarterback Drew Barker, the “enemy” is a lifelong friend and current roommate, who also just happens to play for the opposing team.

“It will be kind of weird, especially living with each other and playing against each other,” admitted wide receiver Cameron Fogle, whose Eastern Kentucky team will face Barker’s UK team at Kroger Field on Saturday. “It gets brought up quite a bit.”

The Colonels versus Cats angle has been a hot topic at the off-campus apartment they share with a non-football playing Kentucky student.

“There’s been a lot of friendly trash talk,” said Fogle, who was a walk-on wide receiver at UK before transferring to Eastern Kentucky, where he was fourth on the team in receptions (22) and receiving yards (246) last season with two touchdown catches.

“I hang out with a bunch of people that don’t play football that still go to Kentucky. They always say, ‘When you guys play against each other, that’s going to be so cool. Kentucky’s probably going to like kill you guys or whatever.’”

Fogle disagrees. Sometimes strongly. “I’m just like, ‘No, it should be a pretty good game. I’m excited.’”

It will be a weird week for Barker and Fogle, former teammates at Conner High School, who have lived together since Barker arrived at Kentucky.

“They are inseparable,” Fogle’s mom, Cindy, said in an email. “I joke with them often about when they are going to separate.”

fogle
Cameron Fogle started seven games in his first season at EKU last year, catching 22 balls for 246 yards and two touchdowns. EKU Athletics

This will be the first time since they played in the pee-wee league super bowl (third and fourth grade) that Fogle and Barker have been on opposing teams.

“We talk about this all the time,” laughed Barker, UK’s backup quarterback, who is hoping to see his first game action of the season against the Colonels on Saturday. “It will be fun to go and play against him again. To see him on the other sideline will be cool for sure.”

There will be plenty of familiar faces for Fogle, who is still good friends with several UK players like wideouts Charles Walker and Ryan Kendall, linebackers Spencer Foy and Logan Blue and quarterback Luke Wright.

Fogle, a slot receiver who didn’t play in the opener last week because of an injury but is expected to play this week, might even find himself going up against UK linebacker Kash Daniel, whom he considers a friend, too.

“I’m extremely excited about it, playing against some of my best friends should be a pretty cool experience,” Fogle said.

fogle(2)
Cameron Fogle spent two seasons at the University of Kentucky before transferring to Eastern Kentucky. He was redshirted as a freshman in 2013, then appeared in one game in 2014. Matt Goins Herald-Leader

But he admitted the entire week is going to be a bit surreal.

“You focus in so much on the opponent you’re going to play and I’m going to be living with the kid I’m going to be going against,” he said.

The two have vowed to just focus on making it a “normal week” if that’s possible.

“We probably won’t talk about football too much,” Fogle said.

Neither player expects there to be much temptation to peek over the shoulder of the other for game plans, scouting reports or copies of playbooks.

“I’ve never really watched film with him about Eastern,” Barker said. “He’s never watched film with me. We talk about it, but it’s not something that I’m snooping around in his room or he’s snooping around in my room. We don’t have to worry about that.”

It might end up being easier on Barker and Fogle than on their families, who consider the other player like a member of the family.

barker(2)
Drew Barker is hoping to see his first action of the 2017 season on Saturday when UK hosts EKU. Charles Bertram cbertram@herald-leader.com

“We love Drew like he was one of our own sons,” Cindy Fogle said.

For spring break this year, Fogle went on vacation with Barker’s family.

“I’m always at his house when we’re at home” from school, Barker said. “Our families are really close. I’m sure his family is excited for him to get to play against Kentucky and my family is excited for him to be at Eastern playing as much as he is.

“They hope he does amazing against us, too. Not enough to make them win, but they want to see him do the best he can.”

Jennifer Smith: 859-231-3241, @jenheraldleader

Saturday

Eastern Kentucky at Kentucky

Noon (SEC Network)

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