UK Football

Meet Kentucky football’s other Timmons

Ryan Timmons is a senior wide receiver and his twin sister Raven, an education major, works in the football recruiting office.
Ryan Timmons is a senior wide receiver and his twin sister Raven, an education major, works in the football recruiting office.

No. No. No. No. No.

Those were the exact thoughts that ran through Ryan Timmons’ head when his baby sister (by one minute) said she might want to get a job in the Kentucky football office a few years ago.

Working in a practice facility full of college football players was not the campus job the UK wide receiver had in mind for his twin sister when they arrived at UK together.

“I don’t want other guys talking to my sister,” Cats recruiting operations director Dan Berezowitz remembered Timmons saying of Raven. “He was really, really worried about all that at first.”

The older Timmons twin had a lot of questions about exactly what kind of work his sister would be doing as a student worker in the football recruiting office, too.

“I was worried about that,” the Frankfort native confessed. “I didn’t want her to be around a bunch of my teammates. Me being a big brother for her and all.”

Melinda Watts, the twins’ mother, laughed as she recalled Ryan saying the only way he’d be OK with Raven working in the football recruiting office is if they “keep her in the back and away from the players.”

Four years later, Raven Timmons has done an excellent job of following her brother’s orders.

“A lot of the guys on the team still don’t know that we’re related,” she said this summer. “They’ll make a joke about how they look alike and I’ll say, ‘Yeah, that’s my twin brother.’”

But it turns out, she’s been nice to have around the football practice facility. In between practices and classes, Timmons often can be found camped out in the recruiting offices chatting with his twin.

“Early on you didn’t even see them talk in the building,” Berezowitz said. “Now Ryan will be in the recruiting office just sitting and talking to all of them, jabbing his sister back and forth.”

It’s not a surprise to Watts that her 21-year-old twins spend so much time together even away at college.

“They’ve always finished each other’s sentences,” she said. “When one got hurt, the other knew it. … They have the same initials. Their phone numbers are so close just one number separates them. Email addresses, too.”

Watts is quick to point out that both Raven, an elementary education major who hopes to be a teacher one day, and Ryan, a communication and leadership development major, even earned similar academic honors last semester.

Ryan could graduate in December, their mother said, but he’s taking some extra classes in the spring so that they can graduate at the same time.

“Isn’t that something?” she smiled through the phone. “He wants them to be together.”

Having his sister around last season when Timmons struggled on the football field turned out to be a blessing, too.

“I can tell when he’s excited or happy, when he’s moody,” Raven said. “Ryan’s not the type of person who would tell you when something’s wrong.”

Watts recalled a sweet note that Raven put in Ryan’s locker before an important game last season.

“When he has a bad day, she can almost sense it and she’ll go and talk to him, find him and they’ll talk about it and he’ll be better and vice versa,” said Watts, who raised the twins and their older sister Teairra as a single mother with lots of help from their grandmother, Carrie Watts.

Maybe being Timmons’ baby sister helped get Raven’s foot in the football office door, but she’s become a key member of the student recruiting staff in the past few years, Berezowitz said.

Raven wears lots of different hats in the football offices, including database entry, answering phones, stuffing envelopes for commitments and recruits, uploading player videos and more.

During camp season, she’s a friendly face (that looks a lot like Ryan’s) when families check in. She frequently answers questions for parents about campus and offers input back to the coaching staff about potential recruits, Berezowitz said.

“She’s been a great asset for us,” he said. “She’s from Kentucky; she grew up in Kentucky. She gets it. She’s not star struck by recruits because they’re so-and-so.

“Her brother was highly recruited and got a lot of publicity. She’s probably harder on Ryan than the other way, saying, ‘You better pick it up, we’re recruiting some guys.’”

Ticket talk

At this time last season, Kentucky told the Herald-Leader that it had sold about 38,600 season tickets. That number is down a bit with just two months to go before the start of football season, with UK officials confirming that they had sold 32,301 season tickets (not including students and give away tickets). As of Thursday, Kentucky also had sold 2,282 student season ticket packages.

32,301UK football season tickets sold so far

Two years ago in 2014, UK had sold 38,024 in early July. In the final season under Joker Phillips, Kentucky sold 38,655 season tickets in all.

UK is trying to make ticket packages more attractive to fans, including adding new options like the “pocket pass,” which provides mobile tickets (in different places around the stadium) to all seven home games for $175.

There also is a new $210 season ticket for the north upper level of the stadium and several minipack ticket options. Single-game tickets for all seven home games will go on sale to the general public on July 19 at 9 a.m.

Media Days haze

Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops will be joined by senior running back Jojo Kemp, junior linebacker Courtney Love and senior center Jon Toth when the Cats take their turn at the annual Southeastern Conference Media Days in Hoover, Ala.

The four of them are scheduled to appear in the expansive print media room on Wednesday after lunch along with Missouri’s players and coaches.

Other teams scheduled for Wednesday morning include Alabama and Arkansas. Monday’s schedule includes Auburn, Florida and Vanderbilt, with Georgia, Mississippi State, Tennessee and Texas A&M going on Tuesday. The event wraps up on Thursday with South Carolina, Ole Miss and Louisiana State.

As I head to Hoover this week, I see several interesting storylines, including the fact that just three quarterbacks (Ole Miss’s Chad Kelly, Tennessee’s Josh Dobbs and Texas A&M’s Trevor Knight) are attending as school representatives. It seems to show the uncertainty at that position for nearly every SEC team going into this season. By contrast, there are five tight ends scheduled to attend.

Also of note, there are three “new” head coaches in the league (if you include South Carolina’s Will Muschamp, who previously was head coach at Florida), this season and all of them will face UK. Others include Missouri’s Barry Odom and Georgia’s Kirby Smart.

New names of note

SEC Media Days typically is the start of the talking season for most head coaches, but Stoops got a jump on that with the annual Governor’s Cup luncheon in Frankfort last month.

Going back through my notes, I found a couple more things to pass along. When Stoops was asked which players who have yet to see the field but could be standouts, he mentioned a few, including offensive lineman Logan Stenberg.

“He redshirted a year ago,” Stoops said of the 6-foot-6, 330-pounder from Madison, Ala., who was second string at left tackle in the spring game. “He’s an awfully big guy, gives us a physical presence in there.”

On the opposite line, Stoops mentioned defensive lineman Alvonte Bell, a former junior college player who redshirted last season after missing summer workouts. Bell is a guy “that can help us on the defensive line that we need to play well.”

Stoops previously has mentioned and again discussed 6-foot-3 redshirt freshman wide outs Jabari Greenwood and Tavin Richardson as potential difference-makers this season.

Jennifer Smith: 859-231-3241, @jenheraldleader