He was No. 88 in your program and No. 1 in your hearts. Before joining the KSR Football Podcast team, Charles Walker was the best slot receiver this side of the Mississippi.
Throughout his career, he experienced plenty of highs. Some are more memorable than others. You probably forgot about his fumble recovery at Vanderbilt that put the dagger through the Commodores’ hearts, or the incredible catch he made on the final drive of the Florida game in 2017.
One moment you cannot forget is his punt return touchdown. The play Freddie Maggard called from the press box, Chuck’s run ended a six-year special teams touchdown drought.
You probably remember that play vividly. After all, it was just three years ago. If not, relive it all with Charles on Kentucky Sports Radio next Wednesday. Until then, let me take you back a little further for a few names from the past that were making headlines this week.
Shane Boyd is still slinging it. The ying to Jared Lorenzen’s yang, the exceptional athlete from Henry Clay was at UK from 2001-04, taking over the starting quarterback job in his final season. He scored 26 touchdowns in his career; half were through the air and the other half were on the ground. He wasn’t just a football player. Boyd suited up for Coach Keith Madison on the diamond as a hard-throwing right-handed pitcher.
Now 36 years old, Boyd is still dropping bombs. A journeyman throughout arena leagues across the country, this week Boyd was named Offensive Player of the Week in the AFL after throwing for 261 yards and 6 touchdowns to upset the previously unbeaten Albany Empire.
A UK receiver from the same era also made headlines this week. Bobby Blizzard was named running backs coach of the XFL’s Dallas team. His new boss is Bob Stoops. Blizzard played two seasons for the Cats in 1999-00, catching 30 passes for 225 yards. Following Hal Mumme’s departure, Blizzard transferred to North Carolina to complete his collegiate career. After bouncing around the pros for a few years, he went into coaching, most recently as Kayaune Ross’ receivers coach for the Memphis Express.
Now that we’ve turned back the clock a bit, here’s what’s happening around the world of UK football today.
Lamar Goods Visits Florida
It’s never good to see committed players check out other schools, especially in this case. Florida has already poached one player from UK in the 2020 class, offensive lineman Gerald Mincey. Now Dan Mullen has his sights set on one of the Cats’ first commitments, Canadian sensation Lamar Goods.
Ahead of the visit, Goods told Florida’s Rivals site: “I’m just interested to see what they have to offer from a player development, and also a educational standpoint.”
If Goods is looking for the best place for player development, UK is in a prime position to prevent the talented defensive tackle from flipping during his official visit.
Only 5 SEC teams have finished .500 or better vs. SEC foes each of the last 3 seasons: @AlabamaFTBL, @FootballUGA, @UKFootball, @LSUfootball and @AggieFootball. Number of 4/5-star prospects signed during that span: Alabama (59), Georgia (58), LSU (50), A&M (42) and Kentucky (14).
— Chris Low (@ClowESPN) January 28, 2019
UK Offers Talented North Hardin Athlete
Kentucky is all in on one of the most talented rising juniors in the Commonwealth. Yesterday the Cats extended a scholarship offer to Lavell Wright. Teammates with top 2020 target Octavious Oxendine at North Hardin High School, 247 ranks Wright as the No. 3 2021 prospect in the state.
A two-way player, many believe Wright will play safety at the next level. He’s good enough to be a collegiate running back. In 2018 the explosive, downhill runner had 1,320 yards and 19 touchdowns on 163 carries. He also caught 26 passes for 287 yards and three touchdowns. First offered by Tennessee, Purdue and Indiana are also in the mix for the rising star.
Remember the name Austin Kendall? A four-star pocket-passer in the class of 2016, he was long considered a Kentucky-lean before ultimately choosing to attend Oklahoma.
After fighting for starting spots with Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray, Kendall chose to transfer following the arrival of Jalen Hurts. Now a part of Neal Brown’s program at West Virginia, Kendall reflected on his career in a profile for The Athletic, one that could have gone much differently.
If Brown had stayed at Kentucky as its offensive coordinator, Austin absolutely would have gone there coming out of high school and played with his older brother, Ryan, who was a walk-on receiver for the Wildcats. After Brown took the head coaching job at Troy, the families still exchanged Christmas cards. Austin even texted him congratulations when the Trojans nearly stunned Clemson in 2016.
If Brown stayed another year, the BBN probably would have never heard of Stephen Johnson or Terry Wilson. Luckily, things have worked out pretty well for UK. We’ll learn Kendall’s fate this fall in Morgantown.
The New Photoshoots are Dope
The UK football recruiting staff has stepped up their game for official visitors. Instead of the casual picture with a blank backdrop, the top prospects get to pose in front of the state of Kentucky, surrounded by professional lighting. Badass is the only way to describe it.
— Dallas Walker IV (@DallasWalkerIV) June 13, 2019
Congrats to my bro he committeed the dice are hot ??? pic.twitter.com/LwYTzGG5hg
— Torrance Davis (@TorranceDavis8) June 9, 2019
— MAKARI PAIGE ¹? (@makaripaige) June 9, 2019