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First Impressions of Kentucky Early Enrollees: Part I

Football signees arriving to campus in January instead of the traditional June time frame has developed into a common trend across college football. An early start allows the student-athletes to get a head start on their track for graduation as well as gaining a competitive advantage over their peers through strength/conditioning training and participating in an additional spring practice.

The media had the opportunity to speak to the Wildcat rookies on Tuesday. The following are my first impressions of the Kentucky rookies and abbreviated film evaluation notes from December’s National Signing Day:

Cornerback Stanley Garner

Overview

Measurables: 6’3, 180
Position: Defensive Back
Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
High School: Dillard
Chose UK over: Auburn, Clemson, Florida State, Florida, Miami, Michigan, Tennessee, South Carolina, Louisville

Abbreviated Film Evaluation

— Could play either WR or CB in college. Elite athlete. Appears to love the game which shows thru confidence, effort, and willingness to play multiple positions.

— Aggressive vs. run; physical tackler. Atypical for a CB with high-level coverage skills.

— Locates football in press/man coverage vs. back-shoulder fade routes. Quick arm reaction to WRs eyes/arm-movements to initiate catch. Intelligent decisions while in zone coverage (Indications of a High Football IQ).

— Quick feet, fluid hips. Can turn and burn. Athletic enough to self-correct coverage errors.

— Can play all four secondary positions. Closer to 6’4 than 6’3.

— High ceiling but needs weight and strength gains to go along with detailed position coaching.

First Impression from Press Conference

— Highly confident defender. Actually mentioned (paraphrasing) that veterans better be bring their game because he will bring his; this is a positive. Cornerbacks require blind confidence and a short memory.

— Feels as if he can earn early playing time. See above. Also, watching film with Mike Edwards, Derrick Baity, and Chris Westry.


LB Deandre Square

Overview

Measurables: 6’1, 205
Position: OLB
Hometown: Detroit, Michigan
High School: Cass Tech
Chose UK over: Arizona, Iowa, LSU, Michigan State, Missouri, Minnesota, Pitt, Wisconsin

Abbreviated Film Analysis

— Played linebacker and strong safety. Exceled at both which projects to a college Will Linebacker. Extremely well coached. Cass Tech one of the nation’s top high school football programs. Projects at Will LB. Could play run-Nickel now.

— Sideline to sideline defender. Can cover horizontal stretch/RPO scheme.

— Linebacker with defensive back cover skills. Strong safety with linebacker tackling ability. Fast, fluid, twitchy athlete. Physical.

— Quick closer, covers ground to make tackles. Squares up in gap to take on blockers. Directs traffic to teammates from LB and SS positions. Leader. Excels in space. Appears to love the game and be a team-guy. Plays with high effort and passion.

— Needs weight/strength gains and settle in on one specific position. Requires development at Will LB, a difficult position to play. Potential future All-SEC performer.

First Impressions from Press Conference

— Quiet, somewhat shy young man. Presented a vibe of sincerity and commitment. Soft spoken off the field, but on-field game spoke volumes at Cass Tech. Sincerely appreciative of Coach Clinkscale and spoke highly of their relationship.

— Spoke about learning from Denzil Ware and Josh Allen. Square appears to be a student of the game. Serious-natured, takes preparation seriously.


DB Dom Williams

Overview

Measurables: 5’11, 186
Position: Defensive Back
Hometown: Knoxville, Tennessee
High School: Fulton
Junior College: Highland Community College, Kansas
Chose UK over: Colorado State, Iowa State

Abbreviated Film Analysis

— Returned blocked FG for TD. Active.

— Can cover slot or outside which translate to Nickel. Quick break on football. May initially struggle vs. taller receivers.

— Flexible hips, can turn-burn to make up for coverage errors

— Will need to identify a position and acclimate to strength and conditioning program. Projects to Nickel.

First Impressions from Press Conference

— Hilarious. Open, comical, and brutally honest. BBN will enjoy future Dom Williams’ press conferences.

— Joked about Kansas junior college, said he’d never return to Kansas again for the rest of his life.

 

QB Terry Wilson and punter Max Duffy will be featured in a later post.

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Article written by Freddie Maggard

Former University of Kentucky Quarterback and Andy Griffith Fan Club President

2 Comments for First Impressions of Kentucky Early Enrollees: Part I



  1. FinnaGoHAM
    1:54 pm January 30, 2018 Permalink

    The first photo, which accompanies the capsule on Stanley Garner, is of Dom Williams.



  2. PillsburyThrowboy
    2:00 pm January 30, 2018 Permalink

    Ha! I can’t wait to hear some Dom Williams interviews.