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Know Your Wildcat

Know Your Wildcat: Ashely Lowery

Photo by: 247 Sports

#5 ASHELY LOWERY

Vitals

– Height: 6’1”

– Weight: 220 lbs.

– Class: Senior

– Experience: 3L

– Position: Safety

– Hometown: Cleveland, Ga

– High School: White County

Class of 2011 High School Ranking

Scout.com: 

– Rivals.com: #59 S 

– 247Sports.com: 

How He Got Here

Kentucky had seven recruits come out of Georgia in the 2011 class, including Ashely Lowery, Demarco Robinson, and Josh Clemons. Lowery was considered the 50th best defensive back in the country.

Junior Season

Lowery started all 12 games for the Cats for a total of 46 tackles. He added an interception, three pass breakups and a fumble recovery. His interception came against Tennessee and he returned it for 26 yards. The fumble recovery came against Alabama State. He had a career-best 10 tackles in the game against Georgia.

Something You Didn’t Know About Him

Being from the country, he loves to hunt and ride four wheelers.

Something We Made Up About Him

While eating at a Cracker Barrel in Georgia, Ashely challenged the whole staff to checkers. He beat all the employees working that day and came back the next day to do the same. Lowery’s picture is hanging in all Cracker Barrels in Georgia as “Georgia’s Checkers King.”

Unfair NFL Comparison

Earl Thomas, Seattle Seahawks

Outlook for 2014 Season

After sitting out in the spring due to a shoulder injury, Lowery hopes to make a huge impact in his return. Sitting out could have hurt his chance to keep his starting job as a lot of young competition showcased their skills over the summer. Lowery’s experience as a two-year starter will be key to a young and inexperienced Kentucky backfield.

@kbernhardKSR


Know Your Wildcat: Braylon Heard

Photo by: 247 Sports

#5 Braylon Heard

Vitals

– Height: 5’11”

– Weight: 189 lbs.

– Class: Redshirt Junior

– Experience: Transfer

– Position: Running Back

– Hometown: Youngstown, Ohio

– High School: Cardinal Mooney

Class of 2011 High School Ranking

– Rivals.com: #5 RB, 

– 247Sports.com: #5 RB, 

– ESPN Recruiting: #25 RB, 

How He Got Here

After playing two seasons at Nebraska, Heard transferred to Kentucky because he found himself behind two other running backs on the depth chart. Braylon decided then it was time for a fresh start somewhere new. Heard wanted to come to Kentucky because it was closer to his hometown. Heard says that his mom will now be able to drive to his games instead of fly which was another key factor.

Nebraska Career

During his first two season, Heard rushed for a total of 452 yards and scored four touchdowns. During his sophomore season, he played in all 12 games averaging 5.9 yards per carry. His career-high game came against Idaho State, where he rushed for 74 yards with a career best 27-yard run and a touchdown.

Something You Didn’t Know About Him

Braylon took an service/educational trip to Ethiopia this past May.

Something We Made Up About Him

After constantly breaking out in hives and weird rashes for two years at Nebraska, Braylon finally went to the doctors to figure out the problem. After multiple tests, the doctors finally diagnosed Braylon with a corn allergy. Knowing that his corn allergy meant he couldn’t stay in Nebraska, Heard knew it was time to leave. With much thought, Braylon decided to come to Kentucky because if football does not work out, his other dream job is to be bourbon distiller and open his own distillery.

Unfair NFL Comparison

Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs

Outlook for 2014 Season

Coming to Kentucky as a transfer, Heard has a lot to prove in his first season here. After impressing the coaches and making great strives while sitting out, Braylon is ready to show the #BBN what he has to offer. His quickness and agility will give Kentucky the backfield they need after losing veteran Raymond Sanders. Expect Heard to be the guy we need to get our running game back where it needs to be.

 

@kbernhardKSR


Know Your Wildcat: JD Harmon

Photo by: Matt Hernandez

#11 JD HARMON

Vitals

– Height: 6’2”

– Weight: 201 lbs.

– Class: Redshirt Sophomore

– Experience: 1L

– Position: Cornerback

– Hometown: Paducah, Ky

– High School: Tilghman

How He Got Here

An in-state kid, he made his dream of playing for Kentucky a reality by walking on.  Harmon earned a spot on the team as a true freshman.  His hard work paid off, earning the starting job for the last three games of his freshman season.

2012 Freshman Season

Played in all 12 games as a freshman before being academics forced him to redshirt his sophomore year.  Harmon totaled for 24 tackles, highlighted by an excellent game at Missour where he recorded seven tackles and picked off two passes — the only UK interceptions that season.  He tied for second in pass breakups with four, two of them coming in the game against Kent State.

Something You Didn’t Know About Him

He doesn’t let many people know, but JD’s hidden talent is his lovely singing voice.  Karaoke challenge accepted.

Something We Made Up About Him

Harmon has sang in every talent show his school as put on. Starting in kindergarten at his grade school through his senior year in high school. Harmon is a big fan of old school jazz and has only sang songs by Nat King Cole. His favorite song by Cole is L.O.V.E. because of his favorite movie, The Parent Trap. L is for the way you look at me…

Unfair NFL Comparison

Antonio Cromartie, Arizona Cardinals

Outlook for 2014 Season

After redshirting his sophomore season, Harmon is looking to get back to where he ended his freshman season. Expect Harmon to have a greater impact on the defensive side after sitting out a year and improving his game. Harmon will be playing behind junior cornerback, Fred Tiller but expect Harmon to put up some good numbers as Coach Derrick Ansley’s “big back” option. Harmon’s ability to start as a true freshman walk-on shows how high his ceiling is for improvement. His size and athleticism allows him to be have a great anticipation of the play and ability to breakup the pass.


Know Your Wildcat: Josh Forrest

#45 Josh Forrest

Vitals

– Height: 6’3”

– Weight: 236 lbs.

– Class: Junior

– Experience: 2L

– Position: Linebacker

– Hometown: Paducah, KY

– High School: Tilghman

Class of 2011 Ranking 

Rivals.com: 

247Sports.com: 

– ESPN Recruiting: 

How He Got Here

Forrest was a recruit under Joker Phillips and came to Kentucky as a wide receiver/defensive back. Forrest’s high school coach, Randy Wyatt, played football for Kentucky in the 90s. The Paducah Tilghman star was named to the Lexington Herald-Leader’s all-state team after his Senior season.

Previous Seasons, 2011-13

Forrest redshirtted his freshman year, when Phillips’ staff realized his skill set was better utilized as a linebacker instead of a wide receiver. Primarily a special teams player until last season, he played in all 12 games as a reserve linebacker. He completed the season with 16 tackles and an interception against Florida, an interception that broke a streak of 34958734598374598 games without one. Forrest had a season best three tackles against South Carolina, Alabama and Vanderbilt. His quickness helped him block a field goal against Louisville and a punt against Alabama State. The blocked punt was a game changer, setting up a scoring drive against Alabama State.

Something You Didn’t Know About Him

Other than being a professional football player, his dream job would be an airline pilot.

Something We Made Up About Him

The night before every game, Josh goes into the woods to mediate. Forrest sits on the ground Indian-style, eyes closed, and hands in prayer position at the heart. Forrest says he feels a real connection with nature and it improves his game mentality.

Unfair NFL Comparison

Danny Trevathan, Denver Broncos

Outlook for 2014

As a former receiver, Forrest hopes his speed, athleticism, and length (he’s got arms like Tayshaun) will make him more of an threat on the defensive side of the ball. Still in the process of developing as a linebacker, Josh has proved to DJ Eliot that he has what it takes to replace Avery Williamson as the starting middle linebacker.

 


Know Your Wildcat: Stanley “Boom” Williams

Picture by: UK Athletics

#18 Stanley “Boom” Williams

Vitals

– Height: 5’9”

– Weight: 200 lbs.

– Class: Freshman

– Experience: HS

– Position: Running Back

– Hometown: Monroe, GA.

– High School: George Walton Academy

Class of 2014 High School Ranking

– Rivals.com: #4 APB, starstarstarstar

– Scout.com: #71 RB, starstarstar

– 247Sports.com: #7 APB, starstarstar

– ESPN Recruiting: #16 RB, starstarstarstar

How He Got Here

Boom Williams, one of the best talents in Stoops’ second year recruiting class, originally committed to play for the Georgia Bulldogs in 2011 when he was a sophomore in high school. He backed off his commitment to the Bulldogs in April 2013, just one month after UK offered the talented back. Williams came on an unofficial visit to UK last June and fell in love with the program, he committed to play for the Wildcats on the same visit.

Williams chose the Cats over other offers from many big-name schools, including Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, Georgia Tech, LSU, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Previous Accolades, 2010-2014

Boom was an animal on the football field in high school. He rushed for 1,416 yards and 21 touchdowns as a senior at George Walton Academy, as well as nearly 2,000 yards and 24 TD’s as a junior. He was a 4-year starter in high school. Boom was also a member of the track team and competed in the 100-meter dash for his school. By the end of his senior season he was ranked the #118 player in the country by Rivals.

Something You Didn’t Know About Him

Boom’s Father, Stanley Sr., wears UK apparel everywhere he goes.  After Boom decommitted from Georgia, the Williams’ had a yard sale to get rid of thousands of dollars worth of Bulldawg paraphernalia.

Something We Made Up About Him

Boom is a great football player, but he is also incredibly musically inclined. At a young age, he and surrounding neighborhood kids were successfully able to start a band in their Monroe, Georgia community named “Sound Drop”. With Stanley on the drums, he quickly earned the name “Boom” from his ability to bang out some serious tunes on the drums. (He actually does play the drums, that part we did not make up.)

Unfair NFL Comparison

Chris Johnson, New York Jets

Outlook for 2014

Both he and Mikel Horton came into the program just this season and are expected to see some minutes for the Cats. I would say he will see some good minutes because we know he is talented enough, but the running back position is the deepest and most talented position on the roster. Boom is however probably the fastest running back, and he has been impressive during fall camp thus far. Neal Brown said he knows how to pick his spots and his field vision is one of the best on the team, he’s a very smart player. He’ll see some minutes this season at RB, specifically in shotgun packages as a safety valve, if he can improve in pass protection. Boom is so fast and he can make things happen in the open field. Don’t be surprised to see him fielding kickoffs/punts at some point this season, with his speed anything can happen.

@kaansoloKSR


Know Your Wildcat: Steve Borden

Vitals

– Height: 6’3”

– Weight: 246 lbs.

– Class: Senior

– Experience: 1L (JUCO)

– Position: Tight End/Wide Receiver

– Hometown: Waxahachie, Texas

– High School: Waxahachie

2013 JUCO Ranking 

– Rivals.com: 

– Scout.com: 

– 247Sports.com: NR

– ESPN Recruiting: 

How He Got Here

Borden was recruited by offensive coordinator, Neal Brown.  Brown recruited Borden while at Texas Tech and convinced him to follow him to Lexington.

Junior Season, 2013

Borden played in all 12 games during his junior season. Borden caught three passes for a combined 63 yards, highlighted by a 38-yard touchdown in Kentucky’s win over Alabama State.

Something You Didn’t Know About Him

Steve started surfing at a very young age while living in California. Other than football, his dream job is a becoming a professional surfer.

Something We Made Up About Him

Steve became a nationally ranked underwater basket weaver in 2011.  Steve started weaving when he saw a flyer for a class at the local YMCA.  Borden’s large hands allows him to weave with such ease that he got sponsored only a year after he started.

Unfair NFL Comparison

Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints

Outlook for 2014 

Borden is one of the most improved players on the offense.  Last year Neal Brown couldn’t quite find the perfect spot for Borden, but Borden has gone to work during the offseason to improve on his blocking in the backfield and his pass-catching ability. When Patrick Towles spent extra time with QB coach Donny Walker, Borden was with Towles every step of the way to become a better split-end receiver.  The extra work already revealed itself during the Spring Game, catching a couple passes and a touchdown that Borden hopes to build off of this season.


Cats beat Ole Miss again, 84-70

Cats beat Ole Miss again, 84-70

aaron-miss

US Presswire | Spruce Derden

Now that, my friends, was a fun basketball game to watch… until the final five minutes. The Cats jumped out on Ole Miss early and fought off a late Rebel surge to hold on to a 84-70 victory. The first half was full of dunks and SportsCenter worthy plays, plus a double-double performance from Julius Randle. Kentucky’s star forward had 10 and 10 at the break, and finished with 25 and 13. The second half wasn’t as fun, but they got out alive.

Tyler will have more throughout the night from Oxford, so stick around. Use the comments section below to discuss the game and what it means going forward.

Talk to you soon. Cats.


Know Your Wildcat: Bud Dupree

Know Your Wildcat: Bud Dupree

Alvin Bud Dupree

During the slow and insipid summer of 2008, former KSR wordsmith Evan Hilbert profiled each and every member of the University of Kentucky football team. Though his knowledge was sparse and his research was far from thorough, Evan’s short and insufficient player profiles were an integral part of Kentucky’s success that season. UK finished with seven wins, including the opener at Louisville and a 25-19 victory in the Liberty Bowl. Kentucky hasn’t won a bowl game since. Let’s bring back that magic…

 

#2 BUD DUPREE

Vitals

– Height: 6’4″

– Weight: 252 lbs.

– Class: Junior

– Experience: 2L

– Position: Defensive End

– Hometown: Irwinton, Ga.

– High School: Wilkinson County

Class of 2011 High School Ranking

– Rivals.com: NR TE, starstarstar

– Scout.com: #45 TE, starstarstar

– 247Sports.com: NR TE

– ESPN Recruiting: NR TE

How He Got Here

Dupree knew very little about the University of Kentucky until the Cats starting recruiting him in high school. He expected to play tight end when he committed to UK, picking Joker Phillips and Co. over Auburn, Georgia Tech and Jacksonville St.

Freshman Season, 2011

Dupree played in all 12 games his freshman season at linebacker, starting the final three, and made 21 total tackles on the year. He added 2.5 sacks and a fumble recovery.

Sophomore Season, 2012

He ranked 10th in the SEC with 91 tackles. His 12.5 tackles for a loss and 6.5 sacks were the seventh best totals in the conference.

Something You Didn’t Know About Him

He loves kids and dogs. Needless to say, he isn’t hosting Matt Jones’ birthday party tonight.

Something You We Made Up About Him

Bud Dupree moved from linebacker to defensive end because he couldn’t take another year of crouching down behind Mister Cobble and Donte Rumph. “They have uncontrollable farts and the smell can be lethal,” he told BlueWildcatChatCat.com

Unfair NFL Comparison

Cameron Wake, Miami Dolphins

Outlook for 2013

Kentucky’s defensive line is its strength heading into the 2013 season and Bud Dupree is a big reason behind the hype. He and Za’Darius Smith make a ferocious duo coming off the ends and they both should expect to see a lot of opportunities to eat a sack lunch.


Know Your Wildcat: Jordan Aumiller

UK Football Media Day

During the slow and insipid summer of 2008, former KSR wordsmith Evan Hilbert profiled each and every member of the University of Kentucky football team. Though his knowledge was sparse and his research was far from thorough, Evan’s short and insufficient player profiles were an integral part of Kentucky’s success that season. UK finished with seven wins, including the opener at Louisville and a 25-19 victory in the Liberty Bowl. Kentucky hasn’t won a bowl game since. Let’s bring back that magic…

 

#86 JORDAN AUMILLER

Vitals

– Height: 6’4″

– Weight: 232 lbs.

– Class: Senior

– Experience: 3L

– Position: Tight End

– Hometown: Danville, Ky.

– High School: Boyle County

Class of 2009 High School Ranking

– Rivals.com: NR, starstar

– Scout.com: #66 TE, starstar

– 247Sports.com: NR

– ESPN Recruiting: #113 TE

How He Got Here

Aumiller committed to Kentucky early in the summer prior to his senior season of high school at Boyle County. He only held offers from UK and Marshall at the time but believed a Louisville offer was coming soon.

Freshman Season, 2009

Redshirted as a linebacker and earned Scout Team Player of the Week honors twice throughout the season.

Redshirt Freshman Season, 2010

Now at tight end, Aumiller played in all 13 games, starting in eight, and caught 18 passes for 193 yard and one touchdown. He was named First Team Freshman All-SEC and Fourth Team Freshman All-American.

Sophomore Season, 2011

Saw his playing time diminish behind senior tight end Nick Melillo; Aumiller started in one game but did not catch a pass on the year.

Junior Season, 2012

Played in three games but failed to record a reception for the second season in a row.

Something You Didn’t Know About Him

His nickname is “Lank.”

Most Recent Tweet

Unfair NFL Comparison

Jermichael Finley, Green Bay Packers

Outlook for 2013

After going two full seasons without a catch, Jordan Aumiller is ready to take over the starting tight end duties for the Wildcats again. Vince Marrow said last week that Aumiller has a slight edge over Anthony Kendrick at the position, but both can expect to get a lot of opportunities in the new Air Raid offense.


Know Your Wildcat: Ashely Lowery

ashely-lowery

During the slow and insipid summer of 2008, former KSR wordsmith Evan Hilbert profiled each and every member of the University of Kentucky football team. Though his knowledge was sparse and his research was far from thorough, Evan’s short and insufficient player profiles were an integral part of Kentucky’s success that season. UK finished with seven wins, including the opener at Louisville and a 25-19 victory in the Liberty Bowl. Kentucky hasn’t won a bowl game since. Let’s bring back that magic…

 

#5 ASHELY LOWERY

Vitals

– Height: 6’1″

– Weight: 211 lbs.

– Class: Junior

– Experience: 2L

– Position: Safety

– Hometown: Cleveland, Ga.

– High School: White County

Class of 2011 High School Ranking

– Rivals.com: #59 S, starstarstar

– Scout.com: #89 S, starstarstar

– 247Sports.com: NR, starstarstar

– ESPN Recruiting: #136 S, starstarstar

How He Got Here

He chose Kentucky over Eastern Kentucky, Air Force, Illinois, UAB and Western Carolina.

Freshman Season, 2011

Lowery played all 12 games as a true freshman in 2011, finishing the year with 16 tackles and one start at strong safety in his home state against Georgia. He recorded a season-high five tackles that game.

Sophomore Season, 2012

Now a full-time starter in the secondary, Lowery played in eight games but missed four due to injury. He totaled 43 tackles, good enough for fifth on the team, plus one interception, the only pick of his career.

Something You Might’ve Forgotten About Him

He can jump.

Unfair NFL Comparison

Ryan Clark, Pittsburgh Steelers

Outlook for 2013

Lowery has a pretty firm grasp on that starting spot at free safety and will be the leader of Kentucky’s very young and unproven secondary. Mark Stoops recently called him the “one constant” from the group during fall practice.


Know Your Wildcat: Ryan Timmons

UK Football Media Day
Photo by Regina Rickert for KSR

During the slow and insipid summer of 2008, former KSR wordsmith Evan Hilbert profiled each and every member of the University of Kentucky football team. Though his knowledge was sparse and his research was far from thorough, Evan’s short and insufficient player profiles were an integral part of Kentucky’s success that season. UK finished with seven wins, including the opener at Louisville and a 25-19 victory in the Liberty Bowl. Kentucky hasn’t won a bowl game since. Let’s bring back that magic…

Previous profiles: Javess Blue, Fred Tiller, A.J. Legree, Landon Foster, Patrick Towles, Kory Brown, Tyler Robinson, Donte Rumph, Demarco Robinson, Raymond Sanders, Mister Cobble, Maxwell Smith, Avery Williamson, Steven Borden, Daryl Collins, Cody Quinn, Za’Darius Smith and Alex Montgomery.

 

#1 RYAN TIMMONS

Vitals

– Height: 5’10″

– Weight: 185 lbs.

– Class: Freshman

– Experience: HS

– Position: Athlete

– Hometown: Frankfort, Kentucky

– High School:  Franklin County

Class of 2013 Rankings

– Rivals.com: #68 WR, #5 player in Kentucky starstarstar

– Scout.com: #46 WR, starstarstar

– 247Sports.com: #23 RB, #4 player in Kentucky, starstarstarstar

– ESPN Recruiting: #28 Athlete, #4 player in Kentucky, starstarstarstar

timmonstouk

How He Got Here

Timmons and fellow in-state talent Jason Hatcher were Mark Stoops’ top priorities when he took over at UK, and DJ Eliot spent his first day on the staff recruiting the speedy Franklin County star. When Neal Brown came on board, he took over Timmons’ recruitment and Timmons says one the reasons he chose Kentucky was Brown’s offense, which is similar to what he played in high school. On February 5th in front of his friends and family, Timmons committed to Kentucky, choosing the Cats over Illinois, Florida, Ohio State, and others.

High School Senior Year, 2012

During his senior year, Timmons rushed for 1,306 yards for 25 touchdowns and caught 33 balls for 1,004 yards and 16 touchdowns at Division 5A Franklin County. How ridiculous are those stats? He averaged almost 16 yards per carry and over 30 yards per reception. According to ElevenWarriors.com, Timmons led the nation in yards per touch (23.8 yards) two years in a row and also scored a touchdown every 2.3 times he touched the ball in 2012. He played running back, wide receiver, and returned kicks, and was named First Team All-State by the Courier Journal the Associated Press. He was also a five-time state champion in track, specializing in the 100-meter dash and 200-meter dash.

Something You Didn’t Know About Him

He likes to do the Cousin Terio dance in Wal-Mart. Maybe he learned it from John Wall?

Something We Made Up About Him

He learned it from John Wall, who taught him the moves during a trip to Lexington this summer.

Most Recent Tweet

(13 days ’til kickoff)

Unfair NFL Comparison

Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers

Outlook for 2013

The sky’s the limit for Timmons, who is exactly the type of playmaker Neal Brown needs. Because Franklin County’s offense is so similar to the Air Raid, he already has a leg up on his teammates in learning the system. He’s super fast and explosive in the open field, and is turning heads in camp. The staff has mentioned him as one of the standout wide receivers so far, and he’s also taking reps at running back. Neal Brown loves dual threat players, so get used to seeing Timmons and Raymond Sanders in that role often this season.


Know Your Wildcat: Alex Montgomery

Know Your Wildcat: Alex Montgomery

alex-montgomery

During the slow and insipid summer of 2008, former KSR wordsmith Evan Hilbert profiled each and every member of the University of Kentucky football team. Though his knowledge was sparse and his research was far from thorough, Evan’s short and insufficient player profiles were an integral part of Kentucky’s success that season. UK finished with seven wins, including the opener at Louisville and a 25-19 victory in the Liberty Bowl. Kentucky hasn’t won a bowl game since. Let’s bring back that magic…

Previous profiles: Javess Blue, Fred Tiller, A.J. Legree, Landon Foster, Patrick Towles, Kory Brown, Tyler Robinson, Donte Rumph, Demarco Robinson, Raymond Sanders, Mister Cobble, Maxwell Smith, Avery Williamson, Steven Borden, Daryl Collins, Cody Quinn, and Za’Darius Smith.

 

#17 ALEX MONTGOMERY

Vitals

– Height: 6’2″

– Weight: 210 lbs.

– Class: Freshman

– Experience: HS

– Position: Wide Receiver

– Hometown: Weston, Florida

– High School: Cypress Bay

Class of 2013 Rankings

– Rivals.com: #51 WR, #81 player in Florida starstarstar

– Scout.com: #173 WR, starstarstar

– 247Sports.com: #137 WR, #141 player in Florida starstarstar

– ESPN Recruiting: #12 Tight End-H, starstarstar

alex-montgomery
Montgomery celebrating his commitment to Kentucky with Mark Stoops and his high school coach

How He Got Here

Montgomery had offers from over a dozen major programs, including Louisville, Ole Miss, and Wisconsin. He ended up choosing Kentucky over Louisville in January, a great first step in his career as a Wildcat.

High School Senior Year, 2012

In his senior year, Montgomery helped lead Cypress Bay to the Florida 8A (!!) State Championships and ended his high school career on a high note, pulling in nine catches for 199 yards (a state finals record) and three touchdowns. Alex also played defensive back in high school, and had what appeared to be the game-winning interception in the State Championship, but it was nullified by a late penalty. He was named First Team All-State, and finished the season with 42 catches for 892 yards and seven touchdowns.

Something You Didn’t Know About Him

He hates the Celtics.

Something We Made Up About Him

He hates the Celtics because he lost to Rajon Rondo in Connect Four.

Most Recent Tweet

Unfair NFL Comparison

Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona

Outlook for 2013

Montgomery has already made a name for himself during fall camp, with Stoops and Neal Brown repeatedly calling him one of the most impressive freshmen. In fact, Brown said that he’s probably “made as many plays as anybody we’ve had in camp.” Because of the lack of depth at wide receiver, he’ll have every opportunity to shine. Montgomery is not only impressing the coaches, he’s challenging the veterans to play harder in order to keep their starting spots. Neal Brown put it like this: “They’re either going to get better, or those guys [the freshmen] will be the first ones that roll out there against Western.” Go get ‘em, young fella.


Know Your Wildcat: Za’Darius Smith

UK Football Fan Day

During the slow and insipid summer of 2008, former KSR wordsmith Evan Hilbert profiled each and every member of the University of Kentucky football team. Though his knowledge was sparse and his research was far from thorough, Evan’s short and insufficient player profiles were an integral part of Kentucky’s success that season. UK finished with seven wins, including the opener at Louisville and a 25-19 victory in the Liberty Bowl. Kentucky hasn’t won a bowl game since. Let’s bring back that magic…

 

#94 ZA’DARIUS SMITH

Vitals

– Height: 6’6”

– Weight: 254 lbs.

– Class: Junior

– Experience: JC

– Position: Defensive End

– Hometown: Greenville, Ala.

– High School: Greenville

– Junior College: East Mississippi CC

2013 JUCO Ranking

– Rivals.com: NR, starstarstarstar

– Scout.com: NR

– 247Sports.com: #2 WDE, starstarstarstar

– ESPN Recruiting: #2 DE, starstarstarstar

How He Got Here

When Mark Stoops hired Jimmy Brumbaugh from East Mississippi Community College to coach his defensive line, the decision for Za’Darius Smith became very easy. Brumbaugh coached Smith for two seasons at EMCC, so the two know each other very well. Not to mention, Stoops recruited Smith out of high school at Florida State.

Za’Darius chose Kentucky over Mississippi State, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, and Texas.

Before He Got Here

Smith recorded 19 tackles and five sacks as a freshman at East Mississippi C.C.  He followed that up with 46 tackles, 6.5 sacks, four forced fumbles and an interception in 2012.

Something You Didn’t Know About Him

He never played a snap of football until 2010, his senior year of high school. He played basketball his whole life and had dreams of playing at the D-1 level. But after being pressured to try his hand at football all through high school, he walked into Greenville High’s head football coach’s office and asked to join the team, just weeks before the season opener.

Something We Made Up About Him

Za’Darius saved 73 elementary school students when their bus blew out a tire while crossing a bridge, sending the vehicle and its passengers over the edge and spiraling down toward a river below. Za’Darius, then just a 3-year-old boy, was passing by in the other lane and jumped out to save the day. Witnesses say Za’Darius caught the school bus with his right hand, holding it by its rear axel, and pulled it back up to the bridge to safety. When all the students were evacuated and the bus was completely empty, he picked it up again and ripped out 20 bicep curls for fun.

Most Recent Tweet

Unfair NFL Comparison

Julius Peppers, Chicago Bears

Outlook for 2013

Pain, insufferable pain, for anyone who gets in his way.


Know Your Wildcat: Cody Quinn

cody-quinn

During the slow and insipid summer of 2008, former KSR wordsmith Evan Hilbert profiled each and every member of the University of Kentucky football team. Though his knowledge was sparse and his research was far from thorough, Evan’s short and insufficient player profiles were an integral part of Kentucky’s success that season. UK finished with seven wins, including the opener at Louisville and a 25-19 victory in the Liberty Bowl. Kentucky hasn’t won a bowl game since. Let’s bring back that magic…

 

#16 CODY QUINN

Vitals

– Height: 5’10”

– Weight: 170 lbs.

– Class: Sophomore

– Experience: 1L

– Position: Cornerback

– Hometown: Middletown, Ohio

– High School: Middletown

Class of 2012 Ranking

– Rivals.com: NR starstarstar

– Scout.com: #90 CB starstarstar

– 247Sports.com: #86 CB, #70 player in Ohio starstarstar

– ESPN Recruiting: #68 CB, #64 player in Ohio starstarstar

How He Got Here

Cody originally committed to Illinois, but opened up his recruitment after Ron Zook was fired. He became interested in Kentucky in part due to his relationship with Mike Cassity, the defensive backs coach. Quinn committed to Kentucky on January 15, 2012, picking the Cats over Illinois, West Virginia, Purdue, and Cincinnati. In high school, he was named third-team All-Ohio by the Associated Press, and excelled in track, evident in his 4.37 40-time.

Freshman Season, 2012

Quinn played in eleven games, starting six. He had 25 tackles, including a season-high seven against Arkansas. He also led the team in pass breakups with five. Quinn really burst onto the scene against Florida, starting for an injured Cartier Rice. The true freshman didn’t back down against the Gators in the Swamp, challenging receivers and deflecting a pass that forced Florida to punt on its first drive of the game. As the season wore on, Quinn never gave up, and got plenty of opportunities to play.

Something You Didn’t Know About Him

He was born with six fingers on one hand.

Something We Made Up About Him

Despite cutting the extra finger off so he wouldn’t be mocked growing up, his parents decided it was a sign from God that he was going to be a professional athlete or musician one day. He keeps the extra finger in a bag in a drawer in his bedside table to remind him of his dream.

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Attaboy.

Unfair NFL Comparison

Brandon Flowers, Kansas City Chiefs

Outlook for 2013

Kentucky is as thin in the secondary as they are at wide receiver, and Quinn is one of three returning scholarship corners from last season. He’s added about fifteen pounds of muscle in the weight room over the summer, and sits atop the depth chart along with fellow sophomore Fred Tiller. Quinn will have every opportunity possible and no excuses to capitalize on a promising freshman season.


Know Your Wildcat: Daryl Collins

UK Football Fan Day

During the slow and insipid summer of 2008, former KSR wordsmith Evan Hilbert profiled each and every member of the University of Kentucky football team. Though his knowledge was sparse and his research was far from thorough, Evan’s short and insufficient player profiles were an integral part of Kentucky’s success that season. UK finished with seven wins, including the opener at Louisville and a 25-19 victory in the Liberty Bowl. Kentucky hasn’t won a bowl game since. Let’s bring back that magic…

 

#23 DARYL COLLINS

Vitals

– Height: 5’11”

– Weight: 205 lbs.

– Class: Sophomore (RS)

– Experience: JC

– Position: Wide Receiver

– Hometown: Gadsden, Ala.

– High School: Gadsden City

Class of 2011 Ranking

– Rivals.com: #84 WR starstarstar

– Scout.com: #62 WR starstarstar

– 247Sports.com: NR starstarstar

– ESPN Recruiting: #45 WR starstarstar

How He Got Here

Collins gave a verbal commitment to the University of Alabama, his lifelong favorite team, in the spring of his junior year of high school. But when Nick Saban asked him to grayshirt his freshman season, the wide receiver reconsidered his commitment to Alabama and jumped at the opportunity to play right away at the University of Kentucky.

Freshman Season, 2011

The hope was Daryl Collins would make an immediate impact during his freshman season in Lexington, but a season-ending knee injury suffered in practice the week before Kentucky’s 2011 season opener forced him to redshirt.

Redshirt Freshman Season, 2012

Collins started 2012 with a bang, catching seven passes in his first career game, on the road versus Louisville. But he would simmer down after the opener, only catching 10 more balls for the rest of the year. He finished the season with 10 receptions for 171 in 12 games. He also returned six kickoffs and three punts.

Something You Didn’t Know About Him

He loves science.

Something We Made Up About Him

If he could have dinner with anyone in the world, dead or alive, it would be Bill Nye the Science Guy.

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Unfair NFL Comparison

Desean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles

Outlook for 2013

Collins is one of four players currently in the running to be the Cats’ punt returner this fall. On offense, he thinks he can be “the guy” in Neal Brown’s spread offense. He’ll definitely get a lot of run in the receiving corps, although his presumed starting job will be tough to hold on to if the newcomers continue to play well in practice. He’ll get plenty of looks, though, and could have a breakout season.