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Who will be this season’s pleasant surprise?

This picture is obviously staged. My Asian friends don't like fortune cookies.

Going into every football season, we have the guys who we know are going to make an impact in every game they play. Randall Cobb, Mike Hartline and Derrick Locke were our most obvious every game performers who departed at the end of last year. Now we have a new crop of players who will make an impact (good or bad) in every game. Danny Trevathan, Winston Guy, Morgan Newton and Larry Warford will all be players who see significant snaps in every game and determine the final outcome with their play. However, every season also has its handful of pleasant surprises – guys who might have been talked about at the beginning of the year, but without the expectations of their more accomplished teammates. Last season on offense, both Chris Matthews and Jordan Aumiller were pleasant surprises, with Taylor Wyndham and Luke McDermott making an impression on the defensive side of things. Randall Cobb and Derrick Locke were very pleasant surprises as freshmen. Now with a new season only a week away, who could step up and be this team’s pleasant surprise?

On offense, guys like Matt Roark and Nick Melillo both have a chance to step in and do some good things this season, but in different capacities. Roark has a the prototypical big wide receiver body – he’s 6’5 with big hands – and a chance to shine in a receiving corps that has only one surefire contributor in King. Roark has a chance to be a big play guy in the redzone, especially if defenses key on his more experienced running mate. Melillo, on the other hand, wouldn’t display his production in the box score. In what has been a highly contested tight end position battle, Joker said that if the decision had to be made at the end of spring ball, Melillo would have been the starter. As the old man of a group of talented, young tight ends, Melillo can make his impact by doing the dirty work to help out his first year quarterback.

On defense, look for a guy like Avery Williamson, who mostly played special teams last season, to get a shot in Rick Minter’s new, more aggressive front seven. Williamson won’t get a ton of minutes just because of the more experienced players in front of him, but when he gets in, he could definitely be a pleasant surprise. Winston Guy could also end up being a pleasant surprise for this team. I know that I listed him as an impact player earlier, but Guy has a great chance to make his impact much more positive than it has been in his first three seasons. The staff now has him in his natural defensive position, where he can do more blitzing off the edge to remove the quarterback’s head and less coverage. He’ll also be returning kicks with greater regularity, which could be a lot of fun to watch when you consider his combination of size and speed, not to mention his dreads.

In addition to the returning players, the expectations for the rookies are very high going into the season. Josh Clemons, Daryl Collins, Demarco Robinson, Glenn Faulkner and Ashley Lowery are all new guys who look to get some significant playing time this fall. They all definitely have pleasant surprise potential as well.

Article written by Matthew Hays

22 Comments for Who will be this season’s pleasant surprise?

  1. mocha
    12:23 pm August 25, 2011 Permalink


  2. Delray Beach Cat
    12:23 pm August 25, 2011 Permalink

    I hate football season. No offence to Joker and the boys, but I just dont given a crap.

  3. Delray Beach Cat
    12:24 pm August 25, 2011 Permalink

    I hate football season. No offence to Joker and the boys, but I just dont give a crap.

  4. Delray Beach Cat
    12:24 pm August 25, 2011 Permalink

    I hate football season. No offence to Joker and the boys, but I just dont give a crap.

  5. Jorts4Life
    12:31 pm August 25, 2011 Permalink

    I hate Delray Beach Cat. No offence to him, but I just dont given a crap.

  6. UKfanNKY
    12:36 pm August 25, 2011 Permalink

    Hey Delray Beach Cat…I think we got the message!! BTW we as fans, Joker and the boy’s as you call them don’t give a crap what YOU think, so keep your stupid comments to yourself!!!

    Now, onto to KY FOOTBALL……….it’s going to be a special year for KY FOOTBALL and the years to come!!! GO CATS RISE!!!

  7. billy bob
    12:39 pm August 25, 2011 Permalink

    You guys stretch the truth so much…you have no clue whats going on…

  8. delray beach cat an idot
    12:48 pm August 25, 2011 Permalink

    You care enough to comment 3 times…. You idiot.

  9. BernardMadoff
    12:49 pm August 25, 2011 Permalink

    Don’t you just love people who hate things yet still tag along and let everybody know what a schmuck they are?

  10. Tobias Funke
    12:49 pm August 25, 2011 Permalink

    Hopefully: EJ Fields Realistically: Glen Faulkner

  11. Blue Virus
    12:53 pm August 25, 2011 Permalink

    I predict Clemons will be all-sec caliber by the end of the year. Going to be the best back we have seen at UK in quite a few years.

  12. btowncatfan
    1:06 pm August 25, 2011 Permalink

    8. I was thinking the same thing, every football post he comments on. If you aren’t a UK fan go play in the ocean while Irene passes by.

  13. GoCats2
    1:10 pm August 25, 2011 Permalink

    The pleasant surprise is that I will get to see the game next week. I just got switched to 1st shift!

  14. GoCats2
    1:12 pm August 25, 2011 Permalink

    Could we get a new poll question?

  15. bluesince66
    1:37 pm August 25, 2011 Permalink

    EJ Fields needs to switch to the defensive side of the ball, he was a pretty good DB in high school.

  16. UKfanNKY
    1:39 pm August 25, 2011 Permalink

    #11 I agree with you on everything I have read so far. RISE!!!

  17. Jax Teller
    1:43 pm August 25, 2011 Permalink

    Didn’t Joker say that Aumiller has separated himself from all the other tight ends? Not sure how much PT Melillo will get. I look for one of the RB’s to be a surprise on offense, I don’t know who but think that one will rise up and take the job. On defense, everyone seems to forget about Randall Burden, if we are able to get pressure with Minter’s new defense I look for him to have a big year at corner.

  18. Tanks fer Nuttin
    1:54 pm August 25, 2011 Permalink

    McCaskill…if he can stay healthy.

  19. Buzzard
    2:47 pm August 25, 2011 Permalink

    I think the ‘season’ will be a pleasant suprise. Tenn. is going down! and I will be there! I hate Tenn.
    Go Football Cats!

  20. Guy LeDouche
    4:27 pm August 25, 2011 Permalink

    Delray Beach Cat might be the false stereotype of UK football support but if UK averaged 8 wins a year you couldn’t build a big enough stadium. Top 25 in average attendance every year for a program that historically averages about 4-5 wins per season and hasn’t had a winning record in league play since disco and pet rocks is incredible. UK fans have desperately coveted a good football program for a long, long time and have the psychic scars to prove it.

  21. dustin
    8:07 pm August 25, 2011 Permalink

    Other than Newton, the biggest surprise needs to be guys like Brian Adams, and/or Josh Clemons. I am hoping for both to show up a Lott of people

  22. RealTalk
    11:30 pm August 26, 2011 Permalink

    …in bed