Most Recent Posts
- Ohio twins will transfer from Pittsburgh to Kentucky
- Photo Gallery: Alex Poythress at Camp Cal
- Ohio RB Mikel Horton did all he could to help convince Georgia RB Boom Williams to commit to UK
- Boom Willams expects to make impact returning punts, kickoffs
- UK commit Stanley Williams ready to bring the “Boom” to Kentucky football
- Calipari uses Twitter to explain Kentucky’s recruiting success
- Longtime sports writer Joey Fosko dies from apparent heart attack
- Kentucky offers athletic 7-footer Stephen Zimmerman
By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky senior cornerback Trevard Lindley thinks most people would be surprised at how tame his life away from football is. He says his little free time is spent watching TV, playing X-box, going to the mall or spending time with teammates. Ã¢â‚¬Å“ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s nothing fancy. Sorry,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said.
Perhaps thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s why he relates to UK head coach Rich Brooks so well.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“He is old school and likes to hit a lot in practice. He gets on me just like everybody else. Favoritism does not matter to him at all. He will yell at you no matter who you are and treats you all the same,Ã¢â‚¬Â Lindley said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“He should get a lot more respect nationwide. He is a good coach. He has got good recruits and got the program back going. He should be well respected by everyone.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Kind of like Lindley should. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s regarded as one of the SECÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s best players, but did not earn significant preseason all-American honors. However, that has not changed his outlook.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“My freshman year we had a lot of young players and still went to a bowl and won. As we got older, we kept getting better and that has helped us win and get even better players,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I just want to get more interceptions and defensive touchdowns this year. If I can do that, everything else will take care of itself.Ã¢â‚¬Â
By LARRY VAUGHT
KentuckyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s quest to add depth to future defensive lines could get a boost if Columbus, Ohio, defensive end Derrick Bryant decides to play for the Wildcats.
The 6-4, 230-pound Bryant, who runs the 40-yard dash in 4.55 seconds, had 85 tackles, including 12 quarterback sacks, and broke up seven passes for Brookhaven High School.
HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s had a variety of scholarship offers including Michigan, his favorite team growing up. Others who have offered include Oregon, UCLA, Michigan State, Kansas, Illinois, North Carolina and Virginia.
Then there is Kentucky, a team that BryantÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s father, Lorenzo, says has impressed his son.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Without question Kentucky is one of the final three or four schools he has on his list,Ã¢â‚¬Â Lorenzo Bryant said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t look for any newcomers on that list because that would not be fair to other schools and Derrick also wants to get ready for his season.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Lorenzo Bryant says associate coach Joker Phillips and recruiting coordinator Chuck Smith have Ã¢â‚¬Å“been very goodÃ¢â‚¬Â with his son during the recruiting process.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“They write him constantly. Things they can do, they do,Ã¢â‚¬Â Lorenzo Bryant said.
While there have been reports that Kentucky, Oregon and UCLA are his final three schools, BryantÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s father says he canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t say.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s still hard to tell and hard for me to speak his mind because it might change. But I can say for sure that Kentucky is in that group,Ã¢â‚¬Â Lorenzo Bryant said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I really believe he will make a decision before our first game so heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll have where heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s going to school out of the way.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“But he will be sure about his decision. He wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t commit and then de-commit like some players do.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Lorenzo Bryant says his son is a little different from some highly recruited high school players.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Derrick is the type of young man that is really dedicated to proving his worth as a player,Ã¢â‚¬Â Lorenzo Bryant said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“You rarely get a kid like that. He wants to prove heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s worthy of all this attention. But he also wants to be able to concentrate on his high school season and academic endeavors. They are both very important to him.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Lorenzo Bryant says recruiting has been hectic at times with two or three coaches from up to 16 schools contacting him or his son.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s why Derrick decided to take a step back and let me handle the calls,Ã¢â‚¬Â Lorenzo Bryant said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“He lets the calls go through me and I get the messages to him. We donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want to tell anyone anything that is not true. But his season is less than a month away and he wants to make this decision. However, he wants to make sure it is the right decision and thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s why I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t exactly know when he will be ready to make that final call.Ã¢â‚¬Â
By LARRY VAUGHT
Austin Collinsworth says his father, Cris, a former National Football League standout, is doing his best not to influence his college decision. However, his mother, Holly, a former University of Kentucky cheerleader, has a little more to say about where she wants her son to play.
The Highlands senior has scholarship offers from Kentucky, Cincinnati, Louisville, Stanford andÃ‚Â Vanderbilt. The 6-0, 180-pound Collinsworth, who runs a 4.6 40-yard dash, started at cornerback last year and is moving to safety this season. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s also going to play running back, a spot he would like to play in college.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Some schools see me as a receiver, some as a defensive back,Ã¢â‚¬Â Collinsworth said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Ideally I would like to play running back at the next level and I have a chance to prove this year that I can do that. I just love to be on the field as much as possible, so playing running back will be fun.Ã¢â‚¬Â
He thinks he has the explosion and skills necessary to be a big-time running back and hopes others will soon feel that way, too, especially since he thinks Highlands will have a Ã¢â‚¬Å“phenomenalÃ¢â‚¬Â team again that will garner a lot of attention.
Kentucky certainly could benefit from having an in-state star like Collinsworth commit, especially after the loss of Indianapolis star safety Isaiah Lewis to Michigan State Thursday.
He has Ã¢â‚¬Å“definiteÃ¢â‚¬Â interest in Kentucky because of its Southeastern Conference affiliation.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Playing in the SEC is always something players think about. I like to compete at the highest level and the SEC is there right now,Ã¢â‚¬Â Collinsworth said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a good distance from home, too. So that is very appealling to me.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“A lot of my friends are UK fans. And my mom is definitely still a UK girl. More than anything, she wants me to go closer to home to play, but she still has that UK blood. I know she wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t mind at all if that is where I went. Dad is trying to keep his hands off of it and let me make my decision. He doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want to force me to go somewhere I might end up not liking. But mom makes her feelings known quite a bit more.Ã¢â‚¬Â
HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s already visited Stanford and Vanderbilt, two schools he liked.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Stanford has a phenomenal campus and offers a great education. It is a small school, which could be a positive or ngeative. I really enjoyed my visit to Vandy. It has the best of both worlds with SEC football and great education,Ã¢â‚¬Â Collinsworth said.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Actually, all the schools recruiting me are great schools. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve not made a decision yet, but I am going to try and do so in the next few months. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve been down to UK and obviously have been to UC.Ã¢â‚¬Â
By LARRY VAUGHT
His son is still not quite ready to make his college choice, but Lorenzo Lewis says there is nothing more Kentucky could have done to impress his son, Isaiah, than what it did Tuesday when the two visited the UK campus for a second time.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We had a good time and really enjoyed it,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Lorenzo Lewis. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Great staff. Great university. The academics are great. The advisors and professors are all excellent people. But you also see the business side, too. They have a balanced program with athletics and academics. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s why we went back. We liked what we saw the first time and we think they are going in the right direction.Ã¢â‚¬Â
That direction certainly would be easier to keep attaining if Isaiah Lewis, a 5-11, 190-pound safety from Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis. He runs the 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds and has numerous big-time scholarship offers even though Kentucky and Michigan State seem to have emerged as his final two teams.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Coach (Rich) Brooks has been great. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s easy to talk to and definitely knows what he is looking for. He tells you exactly the way it is, too,Ã¢â‚¬Â Lorenzo Lewis said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“But the whole staff seems very knowledgeable. We were comfortable around those guys.Ã¢â‚¬Â
He praised the way recruiting coordinator Chuck Smith has recruited his son. Ã¢â‚¬Å“He is very professional. They have handled the process very well and made us feel very comfortable with them,Ã¢â‚¬Â Lorenzo Lewis said.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Isaiah is in an excellent position. He has no bad choices to make. All his offers are from top-notch universities. All we have visited, and even some we havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t, are excellent programs. That is what makes this a tough decision.Ã¢â‚¬Â
A decision could be coming as early as next week after they discuss the pluses and minuses of the schools.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“It just comes down to where he feels the most comfortable. As a parent, I am looking for some place he will grow as a man and person. I want him to do well academically and also have a chance to fulfill his dreams athletically,Ã¢â‚¬Â Lorenzo Lewis said.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“UK can provide him that. Michigan State can. Even some others like Iowa and Purdue are not bad places to go. Ohio State is still watching him. We are not sure what they will do,Ã¢â‚¬Â Lorenzo Lewis said.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“He has a tough decision, but thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a good problem to have. I tell him that all the time. We are not going to rush if it he is not sure where he wants to go. We just got back (from Kentucky). We want to talk about it some more. We will go over it all again and if he has one he feels like this is where I want to go, then we will make an early decision. If he is kind of wavering, we will just wait and take some official visits.Ã¢â‚¬Â
By LARRY VAUGHT
Let me be the first to admit that when Gary Moyers approached me about using Twitter and having a special vaughtsviews.com Web site, I wasn’t sure I even understood what he was talking about.
Now all I can say to him is thanks. And the same to all of you who now either go to the site or follow my tweets on Twitter.
Yes, I have gone over the 1,000 followers mark. It’s a modest milestone compared to the mind-boggling numbers University of Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari has or those many professional athletes and celebrities have amassed. But in the Advocate’s world, reaching 1,000 followers is a milestone.
If you are not following my vaughtsviews.com tweets, go to www.twitter.com/vaughtsviews and sign up. Often you will get tidbits of information that won’t appear in the paper and you will get these updates often during the day. Most of the tweets will be UK-related, but there are many others as well.
At vaughtsviews.com, you will also find my column and often it is updated several times a day, especially with breaking news, as I had Monday when I was the first to officially confirm that Kentucky and Western Kentucky were about to begin a four-year football series. Other media outlets picked up the information and some – WLEX-TV, WTVQ-TV, WHAS radio and Lexington Herald columnist John Clay – even credited vaughtsviews.com as the source of the story.
The reach of the page has been surprising to me. Recently a site called straightpinkie.com referred to the “excellent Twitter account” coverage I had when UK’s Darius Miller was playing for Team USA in New Zealand.
It’s not unusual for vaughtsviews.com to have more than 5,000 page views in a day. Recently a story about Kentucky junior Patrick Patterson had almost that many page views by itself.
The site now has a title sponsor – State Farm Insurance agent Bob Miller – and two other page sponsors – Stuart Powell Ford and Bright Leaf Golf Resort. Their sponsorship makes the blog and tweets possible, and we all expect the tweets and page views to keep increasing with the start of football season and the continuing excitement over Calipari and UK basketball.
If you’ve never used Twitter, don’t worry. If I can do it, you can, too, and I think you will enjoy it. I know I like posting quick-hitting tidbits of information and can only imagine how much fun it will be when the football and basketball seasons are under way.
So give it a try – and let’s see if I can get to 1,500 followers.
By LARRY VAUGHT
LEXINGTON – For anyone that wants to criticize kicker Lone Seiber, Kentucky special teams coach Steve Ortmayer has a few words of advice.
“Seiber is just about the most castigated guy out here and it is totally false. The guy is a very good kicker. Our protection is horse????. It’s not on Seiber. It is on me. Seiber is a lot better than our protection. We have to get that better this year to get him a fairer chance to show what he can do,” said Ortmayer.
Seiber was 11-for-19 on field goals last year and is 38-for-63 in his career. He’s second in career field goals (38) and is second in career scoring (232 points). He has made three 48-yard kicks and had three field goals in the win over eventual national champion LSU in 2007.
Yet at times he’s been a target for UK fans because of kicks he has missed, or had blocked when they were perceived to be too low.
“It is unfair to criticize a kicker over one missed kick. Whoever says anything, I would like to see them go out there and kick a ball. It’s not easy,” Seiber, a senior from Knoxville, said. “But it is also my job and that is why I am out there. I have expectations and when they are not reached, I am at fault to receive anything that comes at me.”
Seiber hopes this can be his “breakout year” as the Wildcats try to earn a fourth straight bowl trip. However, his primary goal is a simple one.
“I would like to end my career consistently. I am not going for making every field goal. I want at the end of the year for coach (Rich) Brooks to say I was consistent,” Seiber said.
The senior kicker had to work through some hip pains in the spring but hopes he’ll find his leg is stronger when preseason practice starts next month.
Seiber says kickers have a different offseason routine than normal position players.
“It is a lot of tape. With kicking, it is more consistency. There is nothing we can really do to get stronger, bigger or things like that. If anything, you have to get your mind stronger to withstand anything that comes at you,” Seiber said.
“I think it is just a matter of maturing and knowing the situations you will have to go through again that you have lived through those and know what it takes to make them better.”
Kickers and quarterbacks
Seiber says a quarterback has to be mentally tougher than a kicker.
“A quarterback has a lot on his plate. In spring ball, I’ve even had my own teammates say stuff to me while I was kicking. You can’t let that get to you. If you do, you will be sitting on the bench. But I wouldn’t say a kicker has to be the toughest guy mentally compared to a quarterback,” Seiber said.
However, when reminded that a quarterback has many more chances in a game to atone for a mistake than a kicker does, Seiber reconsidered.
“That’s true. In that context, that might be right. I have been through plenty of ups and downs. It’s hard to live them down. I think about them all the time. Football is just part of my life. It is not my whole life. So I take football and put in perspective. Once I succeed at what I am doing now, it will help me long term,” Seiber said.
“But the down times are hard to get over. It’s not just letting yourself down. You are letting the team and the fans down. When the downs are down, they are under the ground. I don’t want any of those this year.”
Ortmayer tells Seiber often that the snap and blocking are key parts of a successful kick. A successful kick also requires a solid placement from the holder.
“If the kick is not good, it will always be blamed on the kicker. As a team, we know what happens. Everyone else thinks it is just a missed kick. Coach Ortmayer tells me I just have to do my part and not worry about the rest,” Seiber said.
There’s a chance Seiber could also kick off this year. The Cats lost punter-kickoff specialist Tim Masthay to graduation and Brooks says his biggest preseason worry is replacing Masthay’s high, deep kickoffs.
“We originally signed him because he could kick off,” Ortmayer said of Seiber. “We just have to get back to that. We have not worked him for three years because Masthay was so good.
“He is plenty strong. He needs a stronger kicking off leg. That again is a product we haven’t developed or worked hard at yet.”
Ortmayer is confident sophomore Ryan Tydlacka can “step into those shoes” Masthay left as a punter.
“He will give us a lot of what Masthay did as a punter. I feel he will step right in there,” Ortmayer said. “What we haven’t been able to figure out is are we going to be able to be close to what Masthay was with his kicking off. We are going to work with him on kicking off, but that is not his niche yet.”
By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky’s deal to play Western Kentucky during the 2010-13 football seasons was officially announced today in Nashville. Games in 2010 and 2012 will b e played in Lexington with the 2011 and 2013 games at L.P. Field in Nashville.
Here’s what UK officials had to say about the four-year deal:
“Congratulations to Western Kentucky on becoming the state’s thirdÃ‚Â program in the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision. The game presentsÃ‚Â an opportunity for people across the Commonwealth to continue watchingÃ‚Â athletes they saw playing in high school and their progression in theÃ‚Â collegiate game. It creates the opportunity to travel to a venue knownÃ‚Â by many UK fans – the Titan’s stadium at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn.” UK athletics director Mitch Barnhart said. “Our fans had a great time with all the hospitality Nashville offered theÃ‚Â last two times we visited for the Music City Bowl and I am very muchÃ‚Â appreciative of all the efforts of Wood Selig and Scott Ramsey to makeÃ‚Â this series work. We look forward to an exciting series against theÃ‚Â Hilltoppers.”
Kentucky coach Rich Brooks is excited to have Western on the schedule for four years.
“This will be a very good series for both schools and certainly greatÃ‚Â for our fans in the western part of Kentucky. We really enjoyed ourÃ‚Â experiences in the back-to-back Music City Bowls in 2006 and 2007 and weÃ‚Â look forward to returning to that venue,” Brooks said.
By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky or Michigan State?
That’s the decision facing four-star Indianapolis safety Isaiah Lewis, who came to Lexington with his father Tuesday to give the UK campus another look. The pair spent over six hours on campus talking to Kentucky coaches and players.
Since he was the only football recruit on campus, he got plenty of attention from the Kentucky staff. Coach Rich Brooks also had freshman quarterback Morgan Newton of Indianapolis, last season’s Mr. Football in Indiana, personally give Lewis a tour of the campus. He also got to see freshman running back Dakotah Tyler, another Indianapolis recruit, and junior college transfer Mark Crawford, who played at the same Indianapolis high school Lewis attends.
Lewis did not commit to the Wildcats, but he has indicated he wants to make his decision within the next week to avoid any conflicts with his high school season. Considering that UK has only two known commitments, landing Lewis could be a terrific jump start for the Cats’ recruiting.
By LARRY VAUGHT
Tywanna Patterson and her husband, Buster, enjoyed a recent vacation to California even if their primary purpose for going was to see their son, University of Kentucky junior Patrick Patterson, play at a camp designed to enhance his basketball skills and increase his strength and stamina.
Patrick Patterson and incoming freshman center Daniel Orton have been in California for about two months training for the upcoming season.
Earlier Larry Orton, DanielÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s father, also went to watch the camp and he came back raving about not only the progress his son had made, but also about how impressive Patrick Patterson looked.
Tywanna Patterson came home just as excited and shared these observations.
Question: How did Patrick look and has he really gained weight while getting slimmer like Larry Orton, DanielÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s father, said when he visited?
Patterson: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Larry Orton is correct!Ã‚Â Patrick looks great!Ã‚Â Yes, he has gained weight but it’s ALL muscle!Ã‚Â He is ripped, stronger and very toned.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Question: How hard were those workouts and do it hurt you just to watch them?
Patterson: Ã¢â‚¬Å“The workouts are really hard, but Patrick is doing great and getting better each day with each workout! He has always had great work ethic and he is getting it done, so it was not really hard to watch.Ã‚Â It made us proud to see him working hard like he usually does and getting it done.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Question: Is he really knocking down all those outside shots like Larry Orton said?
Patterson: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Yes, Larry is correct again!Ã‚Â Patrick is knocking down outside shots, extending his long-range jump shots, and knocking down 3-pointers.Ã‚Â You will see a more versatile Patrick and what he is capable of doing. Get ready!Ã¢â‚¬Â
Question: How did Daniel seem to you?
Patterson: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Daniel is also doing great as well and has lost weight. He is stronger and added muscle as well. He and Patrick look great!Ã‚Â You wait until you see them both.Ã‚Â We are very proud of them and their hard work ethic!Ã¢â‚¬Â
By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky will open the 2011 season in another National Football League Stadium.
An official announcement will be made this week that Kentucky and Western Kentucky have agreed to a four-year series that will have the Hilltoppers playing in Commonwealth Stadium in 2010 and 2012 while the games in 2011 and 2013 will be played at LP Field in Nashville, the home of the NFLÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Tennessee Titans.
The Wildcats are opening this season at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, the home of the Cincinnati Bengals, against Miami. The deal with Western Kentucky will be similar in the way tickets are split between the two teams for the neutral site game as well as the revenue distribution.
Kentucky fans certainly enjoyed games at LP Field when the Cats beat Clemson in the 2007 Music City Bowl and Florida State in the same bowl a year later. The stadium seats close to 70,000 fans and UK had an estimated 50,000 fans there for the Clemson game and over 40,000 to see the win over Florida State.
The games at LP Field could be played on either Thursday night or Saturday depending on the NFL preseason schedule or previous agreements with Tennessee State, which also uses the field for some home games.
While some coaches might be hesitant to play an in-state rival that has just made the climb to full-time Division I status, Kentucky coach Rich Brooks apparently is not one of them. Kentucky beat Western 41-3 last season and then both Brooks and Western coach Dave Elson indicated they would be open to playing again.
Kentucky associate athletics director Rob Mullens said when the game with Miami was announced that Brooks made scheduling easy for him.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Rich no reservations about scheduling. He is fantastic with football scheduling. He understands the market place and all the parameters of scheduling. They donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t come any better than Rich Brooks when you talk about scheduling.Ã¢â‚¬Â
For Western, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s more exposure for its football program. The Hilltoppers will host the Kentucky state high school championship games at their renovated stadium in Bowling Green starting this year.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We are really excited about that. We have such a great community and campus and now we have a great facility,Ã¢â‚¬Â Elson said when he was in Danville in June for the Kentucky Football Coaches Association clinic. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I think with the kids that are going to be playing in those games they are going to say what a great environment we have. Fans will too.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Our stadium is tight. There are 25,000 seats and they are right on top of you. I think it will provide more of big-game field for the state championships. We are excited about getting that many players, coaches and fans to our facility to see we really do have a big-time Division I facility.Ã¢â‚¬Â
However, he said it would take more than just that to draw the attention Western needs to compete for bowl bids and loftier future goals.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We have got to recruit and allow the facility to attract top talent and kids not only in Kentucky but around country. It will take time. We know that. Our goal is to win our conference and go to a bowl game. But we also have to look for ways to gain more exposure for our program and what we are doing,Ã¢â‚¬Â Elson said.
Playing Kentucky four straight years should help, especially with the Southeastern ConferenceÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s new TV deal with ESPN that guarantees every UK game will be televised. For Kentucky, having a non-conference foe other than Louisville on the schedule for four straight years is a huge plus, especially when two of the games will be neutral site contests in a NFL stadium that fans and players both like.
ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s why when the deal is officially announced, it will be a win-win for both teams.