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Kentucky’s Cornerback Corps looks to be much improved in 2013

(Getty Images)

When newly committed JUCO cornerback Nate Willis tweeted that he would be attending Kentucky, he immediately bolstered the Wildcats secondary to a new height. Willis is a talented, physical, speedy DB, who won’t have a problem covering the opposing team’s best receiver. That type of skill-set, in today’s game of high-powered spread offenses, is beyond coveted and is a huge get for head coach Mark Stoops. Following his tweet that he would be continuing his college career in Lexington, Willis added that the Wildcats’ secondary would be a “no fly zone”, meaning that it would be very tough to complete any passes on the Wildcats’ new secondary. Looking at it closer, Willis may be on to something.

Last year, despite a national ranking of 54th in pass defense, Kentucky wasn’t particularly good defending the pass. A lot of the struggles came when starters got injured and the Wildcats had to rely on second-teamers. It forced a team that wasn’t very deep to begin with, to rely on depth, which proved to be disastrous.  A lot of freshmen, true and redshirt, were forced into heavy action for the remainder of the year, and although they gave their best efforts, were no match for the experienced wide receivers of SEC conference play.

A year and scheme change later, the Wildcats look to have a much better play at the cornerback position in 2013. Young freshman (Cody Quinn [above], Fred Tiller, J.D. Harmon) who unexpectedly found themselves in a big role in 2012, now have in-game experience and a familiarity with the conference landscape at their disposal. Add in Willis and 4-star recruit Jaleel Hytchye and you have a pretty formidable group that is as deep as it has been in recent years. Not to mention the are couple of talented recruits still making final decisions on where to attend college that are still considering Kentucky.

Of course it’ll take sometime for the new group to figure out how to play football the way Stoops wants them to. On paper, though, this group looks like one of the better crops we’ve had at Commonwealth Stadium in a while. As far as a “no fly zone”, we’ll have to wait until Willis gets on campus to explain what he means.

Article written by Rashawn Franklin

14 Comments for Kentucky’s Cornerback Corps looks to be much improved in 2013

  1. UKGrad04
    8:04 pm January 16, 2013 Permalink

    Just wanted to point out Hytchye wasn’t a JUCO. I like your posts, Rashan. Good work.

  2. UKGrad04
    8:04 pm January 16, 2013 Permalink


  3. Rashawn Franklin
    8:07 pm January 16, 2013 Permalink

    Sorry. Good eye. Thanks.

  4. seriously?
    8:07 pm January 16, 2013 Permalink

    jaleel is still in high school….

  5. tdogg40330
    8:10 pm January 16, 2013 Permalink

    I think it’s safe to say the whole team is going to be much improved
    next season. Stoops and Brown gonna put UK football on the map.

  6. Big Whoop
    8:41 pm January 16, 2013 Permalink

    While I am excited about the recruiting under Stoops, don’t start telling us how much better on the field we’re going to be. You don’t know and none of us do. I’ve this stuff for about 60 years of preseason hype than turned out to be nothing more than wishful thinking. Let’s wait and see some on the field play before we go off saying how good we’re going to be. During this first year, Stoops could very likely go 2-10 again because of all the system changes. I don’t think that will happen, but I’ve seen it before. Let’s just take this new effort one day at a time and celebrate each incremental change.

  7. bigbluejon
    8:49 pm January 16, 2013 Permalink

    Don’t forget McClain

  8. Bizzaro World
    8:57 pm January 16, 2013 Permalink

    Maryland just beat NC State

  9. bob
    9:04 pm January 16, 2013 Permalink

    KY corner backs improved for 13…damn another fake story…Bigger, Faster,Stronger…LOL

  10. Patrick
    9:23 pm January 16, 2013 Permalink

    Just wanted to point out that there wasnt anything on the post saying Hytchye was a juco!

  11. putinrichie
    9:39 pm January 16, 2013 Permalink

    Why is there no mention of Blake Mcclain? He is another stud CB coming in next season and arguably had just as good of offers as Willis and Hytchye. He was one of the first recruits to get a call from Stoops after he took the UK job. Its a crime not to mention McClain in any article about UK’s future cornerbacks.

  12. Roger
    10:57 pm January 16, 2013 Permalink

    No. 10 sorry but I just need to point out that the original post said Hytchye was a Juco It was then edited to correct the mistake.

  13. Patrick
    12:01 am January 17, 2013 Permalink

    12. Sorry didnt see original post! Go CATS!

  14. buzzard
    9:23 am January 17, 2013 Permalink

    What’s up with Glenn Faulkner the 4 star DB that never played last yr?