Category Archives: UK football

Auburn Commit Now Headed To Lexington

from AL.COM:

Westry took an official visit to Kentucky last weekend and came away impressed. Members of the Wildcat coaching staff also visited him at his home today, leading to the flip.

“I really like Kentucky. On a scale of one to ten, I would give [the visit] a nine,” Westry told 247Sports yesterday. “It was pretty good. I like a lot of things about the University of Kentucky. I really enjoyed my time there.”

Westry committed to Auburn in July over Florida and South Florida. Auburn picked up defensive back Tim Irvin, a former Texas commit, over the weekend but the Tigers are now back down to 20 commitments in the 2015 recruiting class with the loss of Westry.

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Is Bud Dupree One of the Greatest Wildcats Ever?

Back in August there seemed to be about three people on the planet who had high expectations for University of Kentucky football.  One of them was Mark Stoops.  A good part of Stoops’ optimism centered around senior outside linebacker, Alvin “Bud” Dupree.

“I’d be very shocked if Bud (Dupree) was not a first-round draft pick.” ~ Stoops, August 2014

Mel Kiper, never one to be on time for the party, recently added Dupree to his big board of top 25 players.  However, as Mel says, “Alvin “Bud” Dupree is a player I’ve known about since he enrolled at Kentucky. He’s the kind of kid who can be really intriguing to follow because he’s such a phenomenal athlete. You never know what he’ll become.” Mel keeps a few surprises close to the vest to keep you off guard.  With insider information like that, why wouldn’t I just send ESPN all of my subscription money?

Anyway, Stoops believes Dupree is just as good standing up at outside linebacker as he is with his hand on the turf as a defensive end.  Much of that is murky in the NFL these days anyway, as teams start adding to what they already have.  Defense in the NFL is very personnel oriented. So how good  was Dupree at UK?

First, he was named All-SEC.  That, in and of itself, puts Dupree in a special class of Kentucky football players.  Dupree joins the punter, Landon Foster to be named All-SEC in 2014.

The Wildcats named all conference over the last 10 seasons:

2005 Rafael Little All-Purpose
2006 Keenan Burton All-Purpose
2006 Jacob Tamme Tight End
2006 Wesley Woodyard Linebacker
2007 Jacob Tamme Tight End
2007 Wesley Woodyard Linebacker
2008 Micah Johnson Linebacker
2008 Trevard Lindley Defensive Back
2008 Tim Masthay Punter
2009 Randall Cobb All-Purpose
2010 Randall Cobb All-Purpose
2010 Danny Trevathan Linebacker
2011 Danny Trevathan Linebacker
2014 Alvin Dupree Defensive End
2014 Landon Foster

If Dupree gets drafted in the first round, he will be the first and only from the list above to do so.  He would join a short list that includes: Dwayne Robertson ’03, Tim Couch ’99, Art Still ’78, Warren Bryant ’77, Randy Burke ’77, Sam Ball ’66, Tom Hutchinson ’63, Irv Goode ’62, Lou Michaels ’58, Steve Meilinger ’54, Babe Parilli ’52, and Bob Gain ’51.   That is a pretty elite list.

#859Sports: Irv Goode, born in Newport, graduated from Boone County High School, the Rebels play on Irv Goode field.

The 6’4, 264 Dupree finished in the top 10 in the SEC in sacks for 3 straight seasons.  He is strong, fast, and has a knack for the big play.  Looking a little odd in the #2 jersey, the reason behind wearing that number is simple: “If I want to be No. 1, I always have to work like I’m No. 2,”  Dupree said about his jersey number earlier this season.  Dupree finished 2.5 sacks short of being UK’s all time leader in sacks.  That is a pretty amazing fact once you consider where the UK defense has been in the last four seasons.  There haven’t been a lot of reasons for opponents not to double up on Dupree in key situations.

Dupree is capable of bringing a lot of violence to the point of collision but then can also make plays like this in key situations:

If the last four seasons would’ve seen a few bowl appearances out of UK, I think we would be hearing a lot more about Dupree.  But the truth is, if you can play, they will find you.  Mark Stoops has coached 9 first round draft picks. I’m with him on this one.  Dupree leaves UK as one of the top three or four to ever play in Lexington.

UK Football: Always Better To Be Sexiest Girl In the Room

“People often say that ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’, and I say that the most liberating thing about beauty is realising that you are the beholder. This empowers us to find beauty in places where others have not dared to look, including inside ourselves.” ~Salma Hayek

Kentucky football has finally started doing what it should have been doing all along and that is recruiting in the midwest.  The harsh realities about UK football are these:  UK means very little to the rest of the country, outside of the state of Kentucky.  When coaches from UK go into the deep south to recruit in places like Florida, Georgia, or Louisiana; they are already late to the ball.  They are the awkward girls who didn’t have dates and instead they end up going with their biology lab partners or their second cousin from another school.

What UK ends up dragging back to Lexington from the south are often times leftovers, problem children, and guys who shouldn’t be playing in the SEC anyway that they could’ve probably found right here at home. The midwest has better schools, quality high school coaching, stronger communities and is generally just a better place to live for working class people than the south.  Kentucky isn’t going to ever get the cream of the crop in Florida, but in Ohio they have a shot at getting quality kids who would rather play in the SEC than at Purdue or Michigan.

The southeastern part of the United States is filled with a lot of great football talent…and the Playboy mansion is filled with a lot of hot women.  I don’t know about you, but I stand a better shot at getting into the bar down the street than I do the Playboy mansion.  Don’t get me wrong; I’m not going to pass up on an opportunity to run around in my underwear in Beverly Hills; but I will not forget where my bread is buttered.  We need to look in the mirror and be realistic.

So, when UK head football coach Mark Stoops looks in the mirror, what does he see?  Apparently he has been listening to Ms. Hayek and sees the beauty that is UK.  Beauty IS in the eye of the beholder.

Kentucky is so damn sexy because they play in the SEC, snow isn’t measured in feet in Lexington, and Big 10 girls are, well, big 7s at best.  There is a lot a kid from God awful places like Ashtubula, Youngstown, or Cleveland  would love about Lexington.  The point is, that in the middle of nowhere Ohio, Kentucky is the sexiest girl in the room.

Kentucky has stopped taking selfies with the cheerleaders and has instead started drinking beer with the softball players, and its working.  The fan base recognizes the new branding.  Just last week, everyone was afraid that Vince Marrow was headed to Michigan to coach with Jim Harbaugh.   Marrow is the key recruiter in Ohio for the Wildcats. Twitter was flooded by #bbn pleading with Marrow to stay. He listened and stayed. I think Kentucky recruits itself in the north and midwest but I too am glad Marrow is sticking around.

The shift in recruiting is real and was pointed out in the Lexington Herald yesterday:

 In the three recruiting classes before Stoops and Marrow, Kentucky signed 22 players from Georgia and five from Ohio. With Stoops and Marrow, the past three UK recruiting classes have had 21 Ohio products vs. three from Georgia.

I think that is great news for the Wildcats.  They are exploiting the market. They are surrounded by the ugly gray skies of the wintery Big 10 campuses.  And while Lexington isn’t a tropical paradise by any stretch of the imagination, it beats living in Columbus, Lansing, or Happy Valley.    Kentucky has made themselves the sexiest girl in the room by hanging out with the less desirables.

Kentucky Hires Former Mumme Assistant As “O” Coordinator

Several sources have reported that the University of Kentucky football team has hired Shannon Dawson to fill the vacancy at offensive coordinator left by the nomadic Neal Brown.  Dawson is in his 12th year of coaching and most recently was the offensive coordinator at West Virginia.   Notably, his coaching career includes a stint as an offensive assistant at Southeastern Louisiana to former UK head coach Hal Mumme.

The Clinton, Louisiana native has also served as offensive coordinator at Stephen F. Austin and Millsaps.   Dawson has coached in two bowl games, both with West Virginia, in 2011 and 2012.

Dawson’s Coaching Career
2013: West Virginia (offensive coordinator/quarterbacks)
2012: West Virginia (offensive coordinator/receivers)
2011: West Virginia (inside receivers)
2008-10: Stephen F. Austin (offensive coordinator)
2006-07: Millsaps (offensive coordinator)
2005: New Mexico State (graduate assistant/offense)
2004: Southeastern Louisiana (running backs)
2003: Southeastern Louisiana (offensive quality control)
2002: Wingate (wide receivers)

There are mixed reports about how much control Dawson had over the Mountaineers offense,  He shared play calling duties with the skullet.  However, everywhere Dawson has coached, his teams have been productive on offense.   But, maybe the biggest benefit Dawson brings to Lexington is that hIS recruiting territory at West Virginia included Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Maryland.

How does Dawson’s hiring affect the current Wildcats?

Patrick Towles led a Kentucky team that rushed slightly more than they passed in 2014.  Dawson’s 2014 Mountaineers passed 60 percent of the time.  I do not believe a heavier emphasis on the passing game bodes well for Towles, whether it had Neal Brown or a new OC. If Drew Barker can stay out of trouble, he will likely be the starting QB for the Wildcats in 2015.  Barker still has a lot to prove after a roller coaster high school senior season that produced a first round playoff loss to Anderson County.

No matter who is playing quarterback for the football cats in 2015, the expectations will be higher.  Dawson is Stoops’ man.  Neal Brown was probably going to be the offensive coordinator at UK no matter who was hired as head coach after the departure of Joker Phillips.  The spotlight will be on Dawson as he embarks on the biggest challenge of his career, putting points on the board in the SEC.