Junior Demarco Robinson will lead the way for the Cats
This morning’s news that Bookie Cobbins and Demarcus Sweat were leaving the UK football program has left an already thin wide receiving corps thinner waif-like. The Cats now only have four scholarship receivers returning, and in 2012, they combined for 57 catches, 581 yards and no touchdowns. Three talented freshmen and one top JUCO transfer will join them in the fall and will be expected to contribute immediately. Let’s take a look at one of the most critical positions on the field, the wide receivers:
Daryl Collins (sophomore)
As a redshirt freshman, Collins played in all 12 games, catching 17 passes for 171 yards. He had his best showing against Louisville, when he caught seven catches for 64 yards. He also played on special teams, returning six kickoffs for an average of 22.2 yards and three punts for an average of 15 yards.
Rashad Cunningham (sophomore)
Cunningham redshirted his freshman year and played six games last season. He had a great spring game, catching eight passes for 81 yards and a touchdown, establishing himself as the “go-to” receiver for most of the night.
A.J. Legree (sophomore)
Legree played in all twelve games his freshman year, catching 12 passes for 113 yards. His best game was against Vandy, when he had three catches for 47 yards. Legree also had a promising spring game, pulling in seven passes for 68 yards, including a 16-yard touchdown pass from Jalen Whitlow.
Demarco Robinson (junior)
Demarco will be the group’s veteran receiver, with two years as a Wildcat under his belt. He played in all twelve games last season, starting four. In 2012, he caught 28 passes for 297 yards, with a career high seven catches for 75 yards against western. He showed off his versatility against Georgia, throwing a pass to QB Jalen Whitlow for a 33-yard gained to set up a touchdown. He also returned punts with 18 for 117 yards, or an average of 6.5 per return. In the spring game, he hooked up with Max Smith for a 47-yard touchdown, which was the longest play of the game. He finished the scrimmage with six catches for 93 yards.
Others who haven’t played yet due to redshirt or injury: Derrick Quarles, William Tanner, Latrell Wilson, AJ Johnson
Who’s coming in:
Jeff Badet — Badet is a three-star receiver whose size, quickness, good hands and speed off the line will be an immediate asset to the Cats. He’ll play the slot position in Neal Brown’s system, which should be used to since his high school ran the spread and he played almost every position in it.
Javess Blue (JUCO) — ESPN calls the four-star Blue “an explosive playmaker as an outside thread and punt return specialist” with “the skill set to be an immediate contributor.” He’s got all the opportunities in the world to do that in his first year at Kentucky.
Alex Montgomery — Montgomery is a three-star wide receiver who chose the Cats over the Cards, which makes me like him even more. He has amazing hands and will flourish in Neal Brown’s system. He played both sides of the ball in high school, which will help him read coverages and at 6’2″, he’s got the size to play in the SEC.
Ryan Timmons — Timmons is the star of the bunch, and the prized offensive recruit of the 2013 class. He’s a playmaker that is already accustomed to the Air Raid offense after playing a similar style at Franklin County. Because of that, he should be able to come in and compete for a starting job from day one.
A.J. Johnson — Due to the thin WR corps, Johnson and Sheehan earned the chance to play with the starters in the spring, and impressed WR coach Tommy Mainord. They’ll get an even bigger opportunity this fall.
Austin Sheehan — Sheehan had a decent spring. In his senior year of high school, he had over 1,000 yard receiving and 8 touchdowns at Fort Thomas Highlands.
Lucas Witt — Yesterday, Witt announced he is leaving the baseball team to walk-on as a wide receiver for the football team. He was an all-state quarterback in high school, with over 100 touchdown passes in his career.
Tight ends Jordan Aumiller, Tyler Robinson, Ronnie Shields, Patrick Ligon, John Ballis, and Steven Borden will likely get more looks, too.