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Kentucky native Damien Harris selected No. 87 by the Patriots

Kentucky native Damien Harris selected No. 87 by the Patriots

Another Alabama player is heading to New England – this time, it’s Kentucky native Damien Harris. The running back was selected by the Patriots during the third round as the 87th pick.

The Richmond native launched his football career at Madison Southern High School. Although he was heavily recruited by Kentucky, he couldn’t say no to Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide.

Once he arrived in Tuscaloosa, Harris became a major contributor – he averaged 6.4 yards per carry, good for a program record among running backs with at least 400 carries. He was also one of just eight players in program history to record 3,000 career yards during his four years on the team.

Come next season, Damien Harris will be suiting up for the reigning Super Bowl champions.


@HoustonTexans

WATCH: The moment Lonnie Johnson found out he’s heading to Houston

@HoustonTexans

Former Wildcat Lonnie Johnson is officially a Texan. After years of hard work, including a tough childhood and a few years in junior college, his dream of playing in the National Football League is finally coming true. Johnson was the eighth cornerback selected; he was the seventh selected in the second round.

He’ll remember this night – this moment – for the rest of his life. Here’s Johnson placing the Texans’ hat on for the first time, surrounded by his friends and family at his watch party in his hometown of Gary, Indiana.

That’s the face of a man who’s ready to get to work.

Some of Johnson’s former teammates weighed in on his selection:

After his name was called, Johnson did a quick interview with SportsRadio 610 in Houston.

“We kept counting down the picks and then when I saw that they had back to back [picks] I was like, ‘It’s gotta be them, it’s gotta be them. I don’t think they’re gonna pass on me,’” Johnson said. “And once they picked me – once my phone was ringing – I just broke down.”

Congrats, Lonnie Johnson!


Josh Allen meets with Jacksonville media for the first time

Josh Allen meets with Jacksonville media for the first time

Josh Allen is officially a player in the NFL, and he gave the press conference to prove it. The former Cat and his family made their way to the Sunshine State Friday, and the latest member of the Jaguars met with local reporters for the first time. He was joined by Head Coach Doug Marrone and General Manager Dave Caldwell, who were very welcoming toward their first-round pick.

“This is an excellent young man that we have high expectations for, but we know he has higher expectations than we do,” Caldwell said of Allen. “He has a very high ceiling for us.”

Allen went to Jacksonville as the No. 7 selection, which was a bit lower than many experts expected. But one man’s loss is another’s gain, and the front office for the Jaguars was ecstatic.

“This was the one guy – that if he fell to us – we said we’re going to take him regardless of any other offers that we have,” Caldwell said of Allen. “Fortunately for us, he fell to us.”

As for Allen, he’s ready to find his roll on the team’s defense, which is something he’s looking forward to with this team specifically.

“The defense here is crazy: they have swag, they have experience, they have young talent. I’m about to be a part of that and make my peers better.”

While he said his mom is just happy he’s going somewhere warm, he’s happy to be playing for a team with an established defense.

“I’d rather go to a team that needs me, rather than a team that just thinks I’m the best player,” Allen said. “I feel like I can contribute a lot [for the Jags] and I feel like they can use my talents. They know what I do best and they want to utilize that.”

The media also had a few questions about his time in Lexington – namely, how he was able to develop himself from a 2-star recruit into one of the top picks in the NFL Draft.

Being a 2-star is not fun unless a team takes a chance on you,” Allen said. “I was willing to put the work in – I knew I was better than that. I went to work everyday trying to compete with the best and be the best.”

In the end, his ranking only motivated him to push himself harder.

“Being a 2-star kept a chip on my shoulder, and I still have a lot of chips that I’m going to play with this year and for the rest of my career.”

Could falling to the No. 7 pick add another chip to Allen’s shoulder? Only time will tell, but I’d never bet against Josh Allen.


You can watch the entire interview HERE.

@MaggieDavisKSR


Why Kentucky? Hear from some of this year’s most successful Cats

© Christopher Hanewinc | USATSI

Why Kentucky? Why not?

If you’re looking for a more specific reason, a few former Wildcats have you covered. The Kentucky football Twitter account posted this video, where Josh Allen, Benny Snell, Lonnie Johnson, CJ Conrad, George Asafo-Adjei and Derrick Baity reflect on the decisions and factors that led them to the University of Kentucky.

New Jaguar Josh Allen got things started, and he had nothing but praise for Kentucky’s coaching staff and their focus on player development (@Booger).

“Development is a huge thing,” Allen said. “And I think no team does it better than Kentucky right now.”

Conrad, who was part of one of the most special classes in UK football history, reminisced on his desire to help shift the culture and reputation of a Kentucky football team that had failed to qualify for a bowl game for several years.

“I wanted to change a program; I wanted to change the culture at Kentucky,” Conrad said. “We wanted to make Kentucky a nationally-known program.”

Mission accomplished.

Check out the rest of the former Cats’ responses here:

Play this on a loop in the Joe Craft Center during this weekend’s recruiting visits.