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With Harmon out and Willis sitting on the fence, the cornerback situation is ugly

Kentucky’s current cornerback situation is bad. It’s real bad. The loss of JD Harmon is devastating, and if Nate Willis joins him on the academically ineligible list this week, we’re in for a catastrophic season defending the pass. You can almost smell the burnt toast already.

Entering the upcoming 2013 season, UK’s cornerbacks have a combined 52 tackles, seven pass breakups and zero interceptions in their UK careers, all coming from sophomores Fred Tiller and Cody Quinn, the two projected starters entering fall camp. Behind Tiller and Quinn, only Eric Simmons has played in a single game at the University of Kentucky. He played in one game last season, at Missouri.

Up next on the depth chart you’ll find Jerry Williams, a walk-on wide receiver from Henry Clay who moved to corner in the spring of 2012. Then you’re looking at unranked JUCO transfer Cantrell McKinley and redshirt freshman Cody Lewis, both came to Lexington as safeties and moved to corner during spring camp. Another JUCO transfer, R.J. Williams, recorded 10 tackles and two pass breakups at Alfred State Community College in 2010, while redshirt freshman Rodney Cox from DuPont Manual has seen action on Kentucky’s scout team. That’s not a lot of proven talent from UK’s reserves, to say the least.

Much of the load at corner will fall on the young shoulders of incoming freshman Jaleel Hytchye, a top 50 cornerback in the 2013 recruiting class. He and fellow freshman Blake McClain will be called on early to back up Tiller and Quinn, especially if Willis is a no-go. Don’t be surprised if Hytchye finds himself starting early in the season, either. If he can pick up the system and the speed of the college level quickly, he could nudge one of the sophomores out of the way for a starting role.

With all that being said, let’s keep our fingers crossed that Willis is cleared to play. We will likely know by the end of the week now that he finished up his coursework and is awaiting his final grades. Remember, Willis said he wants to be a one-and-done player at Kentucky when he committed back in January. His goals and expectations for himself are high, obviously, and he has the talent to not only compete, but potentially be a star at this level. It’s just a matter of getting him here to prove it.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

22 Comments for With Harmon out and Willis sitting on the fence, the cornerback situation is ugly

  1. Good Thing
    2:24 pm August 7, 2013 Permalink

    Teddy Bridgewater won’t be on the field to pick them apart. #Suspension

  2. NL
    2:26 pm August 7, 2013 Permalink

    This has always been this team’s weak area and it is getting worse. I think our line and linebacker core are good enough to give some challenge in the running game, but if we can’t stop the pass, then it is going to be up to Brown to figure out a way to score 35+ per game

  3. Opportunity
    2:29 pm August 7, 2013 Permalink

    Any cornerbacks on the UK roster, My DOOR is Open.

  4. Cup Half Full
    2:38 pm August 7, 2013 Permalink

    So how about this for looking on the bright side – We all know this season provides a VERY limited opportunity for wins, so no one should be too terribly upset with a 2-5 win season. That said we have a lot of young guys who will be coming back next year ALONG with our best recruiting class in the history of the program who will now have some serious game time experience against the absolute best competition there is to offer.

    Lets just enjoy watching these guys grow and hope they continue to work hard, don’t get upset with them, support them and push them to work harder.

  5. JortsBathroomStall
    2:39 pm August 7, 2013 Permalink

    Time to convert some of these offensive guys who won’t see the field into DB’s.

  6. Coach
    2:47 pm August 7, 2013 Permalink

    Dixon has played some corner at this level and could switch positions if need be.

  7. Bobby MF'n Petrino
    2:50 pm August 7, 2013 Permalink

    I just went from six to midnight…see you suckers August 31st!

  8. Eric
    2:53 pm August 7, 2013 Permalink

    This just makes me more angry that Joker has left the cupboard so bare. If he had stayed on, what would he have expected to have this year? Scary to think about.

  9. Catsantonio
    3:03 pm August 7, 2013 Permalink

    What about the twins from Pitt? Are they eligible?

  10. DHo
    3:15 pm August 7, 2013 Permalink

    What!?!?!?! So…. we have zero interceptions returning and zero receiving touchdowns returning. It’s like we were 2-10 or something last year and the coach did not maintain a quality program.

  11. CardsFan
    3:40 pm August 7, 2013 Permalink

    I’m just glad we don’t have Joker anymore. I can handle whatever happens this year, just knowing that Joker is no longer our problem.

  12. kdh2011
    3:40 pm August 7, 2013 Permalink

    Blake McClain is praticing at safety so far.

  13. #stoopspoopsicecream
    3:50 pm August 7, 2013 Permalink

    Your picture is of Cody Quinn not JD Harmon. Just thought I’d give you a heads up.

  14. classof68
    4:00 pm August 7, 2013 Permalink

    This is nothing new. Except for the time Lindley was here, and maybe 1976 and 1977, the secondary has always been lousy. Stoops will figure something out.

  15. Teddy B
    4:05 pm August 7, 2013 Permalink

    mmmmmm………i love burnt toast.

  16. I'm confused
    4:32 pm August 7, 2013 Permalink

    I thought you guys were gonna win 6-7 games this year?

  17. PhilUK18
    5:50 pm August 7, 2013 Permalink


    I bet confusion is a constant theme in your life, bc very few people have predicted 6-7 wins for this team.

  18. L1C4 says
    5:53 pm August 7, 2013 Permalink

    Your hole team is burnt toast! Get used to it! Do you really think you guys will field a competitive football team? Not this year, not ever!

  19. L1C4 says
    6:03 pm August 7, 2013 Permalink

    When are you guys gonna beat Florida? Hahahahahahahahahaha! I know they are disinterested every time they play you chumps! How could they not be?

  20. L1C4 says
    6:09 pm August 7, 2013 Permalink

    Poops isn’t going to make a difference

  21. Joe
    6:30 pm August 7, 2013 Permalink

    If only we could clone Littleton ward & Marvin love. It’s been worse….

  22. Gotta say it
    3:54 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    L1C4-I guess that “hole team” comment was a Freudian slip on your part. I bet you were imagining us sticking it to you in a few weeks.