Most Recent Posts
- Former UK great Jeff Sheppard excited about recruiting class, but says fans should remember players are young
- Kentucky fans even took time to throw up the “3 goggles” in the Alps
- Signee Marcus Lee says Kentucky “will refuse to lose next year”
- Even UK football coach Mark Stoops did not expect this much fan support at Kentucky
- Video: UK softball coach Rachel Lawson previews the Super Regional clash against Arizona State
- ESPN.com’s Jason King seems to have logical rankings going into next season
- Mark Stoops on John Calipari: “I love being around him”
- UK football coach Mark Stoops understands that hiring Vince Marrow was a home run for Kentucky
By LARRY VAUGHT
The Samsung Continuum that Verizon provided for me a few months ago made my job during KentuckyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s postseason basketball play easier than I ever imagined.
The Continuum is the first smartphone designed with a dedicated ticker display, which provides continual news, sports, finance and social networking updates. It also has a NFL mobile app that has been a huge help during the NFL draft Ã¢â‚¬â€ and was how I learned late Friday that Randall Cobb had been drafted by the Green Bay Packers.
However, what I LOVED about the Samsung Continuum is the 3G Mobile HotSpot capabilities. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll admit when Ashley Schaffner brought me the phone and showed my all the things it can do Ã¢â‚¬â€ and believe me, it can do a lot Ã¢â‚¬â€ I wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t originally all that impressed with the Mobile HotSpot. She told me how it would enable me to transform my phone into a wireless modem for up to four compatible Wi-Fi-enabled devices. Still, I wondered how useful that would be and how often it would actually work.
Trust me, it works.
I used it exclusively when staying in Atlanta for the Southeastern Conference Tournament. Rather than pay the daily $14 hotel Internet charge, I connected to the Internet on my laptop thanks to my Mobile HotSpot. Not only was the connection as fast as the hotel could have provided, it was just as consistent.
But when I fell in love with this phone was on the way home from Atlanta. Since I had a friend driving, I thought I would test the Mobile HotSpot while I was actuallyÃ‚Â mobile myself. I immediately got a connection when I tried just a few miles outside on Atlanta as we headed north on I-75. I stayed connected Ã¢â‚¬â€ and got into our VPN at work Ã¢â‚¬â€ until I finally ran out of laptop battery power about 4 1/2 hours later.
I was able to write four future UK stories, post stories and comments at vaughtsviews.com, check my e-mail and monitor events at work all because of my Mobile HotSpot.
Next it was off to Tampa. I used the Mobile Hot Spot in the Louisville and Tampa airports. I used it in my hotel at Tampa.
Same with the trip to Newark, N.J. And if you have ever been to Newark, youÃ‚Â know I spent a lot of time in the hotel there.
Next came the trip to Houston. Same results. No problems connecting anywhere I tried, and I even got brave enough in the airport to let two friends also try to connect through my HotSpot and they had no trouble.
During trips to Atlanta, Tampa, Newark and Houston, I saved over $200 in hotel Internet charges and about $50 in airport Internet charges thanks to the HotSpot. And thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s no way to estimate the value of being able to work on the drive home from Atlanta thanks to my HotSpot.
Again, the phone has many other great applications. I like the VZ Navigator. I love the weather clock that displays current time and weather of the selected city with the ability to add and select other cities so I always know what is going on Ã¢â‚¬â€ and that has been a huge relief lately. There are sports apps I check for scores and statistics. I like being able to stay in touch on Facebook and with my e-mail. And I love the touch screen.
But more than anything, the HotSpot sets this phone apart from any other Verizon phone I have had and made it so much easier for me to provide information for all of you during the SEC and NCAA tournaments.
By LARRY VAUGHT
LAWRENCEBURG Ã¢â‚¬â€ Kentucky senior Victoria Dunlap, a two-time Southeastern Conference Player of the Year and the 11th pick by Washington in the recent WNBA draft, talked to third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students at Turner Elementary in Anderson County last week about a variety of subjects.
After her talk, Dunlap offered these insights into her personality, career and future:
Question: How did speaking at Turner Elementary School in Anderson County compare to being at Southeastern Conference Media Days like you were the last two years?
Dunlap: Ã¢â‚¬Å“I think this was more nerve-wracking than SEC Media Days because I have gotten used to the media. We have training for it. It is kind of the same stuff over and over. But talking to kids, I like that and like being energetic. I was pretty nervous, though, to be honest.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t really sure what all to say. I know I talked to the principal and he told me to talk about goals and values and the importance on working hard in school. There were times I was rambling, but I wanted to emphasize about getting good grades and make sure you do what you are supposed to do.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Question: Did you really play in the band and play the flute?
Dunlap: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Not many people know that. I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t tell everybody. I played the flute since fifth grade all the way up to high school. I actually have my flute at my apartment in Lexington and sometimes I will still play if I get bored. I have my sheet work from high school, so I can still play a couple of songs.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Question: Just how good a softball player were you since you said you were a pitcher and third baseman?
Dunlap: Ã¢â‚¬Å“I was pretty good. If I had not played basketball and run track in high school, I probably would have played softball. I stopped playing softball when I won the high jump in Junior Olympics. I left the championship round in softball early to go to the track championship. But I used to love playing softball and it was a great sport.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Question: When did you have time to also play soccer?
Dunlap: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Soccer was mostly when I was real little. That was actually one of the first sports that I got into. I think the last time I played soccer was in eighth grade and that was just to stay in shape for basketball.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Question: Did your mom actually threaten not to let you play basketball when your grades dipped?
Dunlap: Ã¢â‚¬Å“She almost did, or maybe she did one time. She threatened to not only make me miss practice, but not to play in the next high school game because I did not have good enough grades. That got my attention real quick.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Question: Are you friends with John Wall, the former UK point guard who plays for the Washington Wizards?
Dunlap: Ã¢â‚¬Å“We talk some. Every time we saw each other at UK, we were fine together. We are friends. We like seeing each other play and do well. He texts me and called me after I got drafted. I was pretty excited about that.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Question: Did you have a chance to interact with John CalipariÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s team this last season like you did two years ago when Wall was on the team?
Dunlap: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Not really. Not that the guys were not fun, but I just think that they were different personalities. The crew last year with John, DeMarcus (Cousins) and Eric (Bledsoe) were obviously very entertaining and energetic. Everywhere you went, you knew they were there. They were really outgoing. I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t spend as much time in the same places as the guys did this year as I did last year.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Question: Will it be fun playing in Washington, the same city where Wall is now a star?
Dunlap: Ã¢â‚¬Å“I think so. I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know how much I will see him or how much we will be there together. But I am pretty excited and he said we were going to hang out and being able to hang out with him is always a good thing.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Question: What lies ahead the next few months for you?
Dunlap: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Basically training camp starts May 15. I graduate on May 8, so after graduation I will go home for a couple of days and relax and then go to training camp. I will work until the preseason WNBA starts and then the season starts in June and then a lot of games back to back.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Question: Are you already looking into playing in Europe after the WNBA season ends like a lot of players do each year to earn additional money?
Dunlap: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Me and my agent have talked about how that would be the next step from the WNBA. We havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t discussed anything specific yet, but we have talked about it. I look forward to do that and seeing different cultures and parts of the world. That is something I really am excited about because I have traveled through the United States, but never overseas.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Question: Ten years from now do you think we will look back and say you were part of pushing the Kentucky womenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s program to a higher, consistent level than anyone imagined?
Dunlap: Ã¢â‚¬Å“I think so. One of my main goals coming to Kentucky was to be part of a program that was on the way up and was going to expand and get better. I think it is doing that now. It shows in the people they are recruiting now and the people coming to Kentucky. More people are wanting to come to Kentucky. The top players in the country want to come now. Coach Mitchell has done a lot for the program and just helping me out is something IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll appreciate and I really think the program has a good future.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Question: What makes Mitchell a successful coach?
Dunlap: Ã¢â‚¬Å“I think we have three winning tools Ã¢â‚¬â€ honesty, hard work and discipline Ã¢â‚¬â€ that he tells us about. He truly uses those in every aspect of his life. He is very active in our lives as well and is always very sure about how he wants us to feel about school and basketball and is always willing to do whatever it takes to help us.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Question: Does it help that he embraces the success of the menÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s program and uses that to push the womenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s program forward?
Dunlap: Ã¢â‚¬Å“The guys always support us as well as we support them. They come to our games and coach Cal (John Calipari) likes watching us play. That helps fans when guys watch us play and talk about us all the time. We use that for our program, but it is really both programs supporting each other.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Question: Was that what happened when coach Joker Phillips introducedÃ‚Â you to the football team after you were drafted?
Dunlap: Ã¢â‚¬Å“He just introduced me to the team. I was out there doing media stuff and he saw that I was there, so he introduced me to the team and told them all who I was in case they didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â It was cool. I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think he was going to do it until one of the assistant coaches told me he was going to do it. But it was fun.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Question: What will you miss most about Kentucky?
Dunlap: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Probably just being around the fans and my teammates. Just like being in games and different activities outside of the season with my teammates. The fansÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ support and all the fun we had. Just that family fun is something I will miss.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Question: Would coach Mitchell be surprised that you told the students you did not like playing offense because you preferred defense?
Dunlap: Ã¢â‚¬Å“He would believe it. He knows that I have had my difficulties on the offensive side and knows that I prefer to play defense more than offense. I have definitely stepped up a lot from what I used to be (offensively) to what I am now. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a miracle the way I improved my free throw shooting. A lot of people probably never thought that was possible until now.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Question: Do you have to show in the WNBA that you can step outside and hit shots consistently since you mainly scored inside and in transition at UK?
Dunlap: Ã¢â‚¬Å“I think so. That will be one of the biggest things just to show that I am able to knock down the shot more consistently than I have before.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Question: Will you still be around Kentucky a lot after you graduate?
Dunlap: Ã¢â‚¬Å“It depends on where I go overseas and when I go. Hopefully I will try to come back, visit, be around and watch all the games I can because I know how much I am going to miss Kentucky.Ã¢â‚¬Â
By LARRY VAUGHT
Sometimes it’s easy to see why John Calipari seems perfect for the job he has at Kentucky.
Calipari spent Friday touring several eastern Kentucky coal mines in Martin and Pike Counties owned by Joe Craft’s Alliance Coal after Craft told workers if they made it to 400 days without an accident, he would bring the coach to the mines Ã¢â‚¬â€ and he did. Calipari signed autographs at eachÃ‚Â mine.
Calipari put out this tweet:Ã‚Â Ã¢â‚¬Å“I get to feel for what my relatives did during their time in the mines. You wan to talk about salt-of-the-earth folks? These are them. It means so much to me & my family that I’m able to share time w/all these hard-working folks.”
Think what it meant to those men and women? And what it should mean for UK basketball because this is clearly a coach who knows and understands the Kentucky fan base and wants to stay in touch with that fan base.
By CHRIS JENKINS
AP Sports Writer
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) Ã¢â‚¬â€ Although itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s difficult to predict winners and losers in the middle of the NFL draft, one player sure seems to be having a pretty good couple days: Aaron Rodgers.
The Green Bay Packers added exclusively to their offense with their first three picks this year, taking Kentucky wide receiver Randall Cobb in the second round and Hawaii running back Alex Green in the third round on Friday.
The Packers took an offensive tackle, Mississippi StateÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Derek Sherrod, on Thursday.
And soon after getting a call from the Packers, Cobb said he planned to call his new QB.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Right now IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m trying to get ahold of Aaron Rodgers,Ã¢â‚¬Â Cobb said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“And I want to get wherever he is as soon as I possibly can and start working and start building a relationship and a bond with him on the field.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The 5-foot-10, 192-pound Cobb could add to the PackersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ already-potent passing game and potentially shore up what has been an inconsistent return game. He brings plenty of versatility, beginning his college career as a quarterback and running the Wildcat at Kentucky.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“He was kind of KentuckyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s offense for the last couple years,Ã¢â‚¬Â Thompson said.
Packers wide receivers coach Edgar Bennett said that Cobb should fit in well, praising his ability to get yards after the catch Ã¢â‚¬â€ a main point of emphasis in Mike McCarthyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s offense.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We always talk about Ã¢â‚¬â„¢YAC,Ã¢â‚¬ÂÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Bennett said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s one of his strong suits. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a guy that stays on his feet, has tremendous balance and makes the most out of his opportunities.Ã¢â‚¬Â
In 35 games at Kentucky, Cobb had 4,674 all-purpose yards, fourth-best in school history. He also set an SEC record for all-purpose yards in 2010 with 2,396.
Last seasonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s title run was fueled largely by the PackersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ pass-heavy offense, but they still could use an upgrade. Veteran wide receiver Donald DriverÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s productivity slipped last season, and he recently turned 36.
Meanwhile, 2007 third-round draft pick James Jones has ability, but also has had a frustrating number of dropped passes in critical situations. Jones also could be headed to free agency, depending on how the collective bargaining agreement shakes out.
Bennett expects all the receivers to thrive with increased competition.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s always competitive, and thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s great,Ã¢â‚¬Â Bennett said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Because when you go into (that) situation, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s going to bring the best out of you. Those guys, they strive in those types of situations. It helps you become better. It pushes you to the limits.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Beyond his ability at wide receiver, Cobb could provide a much-needed answer in the return game. The Packers have been searching for consistency there most of McCarthyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s tenure.
The Packers also liked his durability: Cobb started 31 of 35 games at Kentucky, with 27 starts at wide receiver and four at quarterback.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s been very durable, and thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s something that stood out as well,Ã¢â‚¬Â Bennett said.
Given CobbÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s experience at Kentucky, would the Packers start to experiment with the Wildcat formation? Bennett wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t saying.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Certainly, this kid has some background as far as a quarterback,Ã¢â‚¬Â Bennett said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“It just opens up additional opportunities. Again, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re talking about a guy thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s versatile. WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re not game-planning right now, but IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m pretty sure weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll take full advantage of what heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s capable of doing.Ã¢â‚¬Â
By LARRY VAUGHT
Just when it looked like Kentucky standout Randall Cobb was going to not hear his name called in the second round of the NFL draft, he had his dream come true when the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers took him with the final pick of the second round.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“He can line up anywhere,Ã¢â‚¬Â said ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper after CobbÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s selection. Ã¢â‚¬Å“HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s great in the open field. This guy is a luxury for the Packers. He will help their (kick/punt) return game right away.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Green BayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s offense will be lethal, and now Randall Cobb will give (quarterback) Aaron Rogers even better field position. The Packers are so good because of their third and fourth receivers and he just gives them a different kind of weapon.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Cobb, the 12th Southeastern Conference player picked in the first two rounds, fills a need for Green Bay which had an inconsistent return game last year even when it won the Super Bowl. His versatility was also viewed as a plus since he played quarterback also at Kentucky as well as receiver.
NFL.com offered this evaluation of Cobb: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Tweener lacking the size to be a full-time back or the ball skills and deep speed of a pure receiver. However, he could still make plays as a scat back, sub-package slot receiver and as a returner. Plays his best in the biggest moments. Possesses solid vision, enough quickness to get the corner and gain yards after short passes but isn’t a true home run threat. Could be an effective third down back with his short area speed and route-running but hands need to be more consistent and he has a ways to go in pass protection. Cobb is a late Day 2 prospect.Ã¢â‚¬Â
He was indeed a second-round pick but the guess here is that the Packers will never regret this pick. It was great seeing UK coach Joker Phillips in New York with Cobb and hugging him after the draft. But every Kentucky football fan would probably liked to have had the same opportunity to hug Cobb and thank him for what he did for the Wildcats the last three years.
By LARRY VAUGHT
Once again John Calipari has found a way to do something creative that will help his players Ã¢â‚¬â€ and drive critics crazy.
A few weeks ago Calipari, a former NBA coach, noted that the evaluation process for players putting their names into the NBA draft was not long enough before the deadline to withdraw and stay in school. He noted that rules didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get players adequate time to be seen by numerous teams Ã¢â‚¬â€ and thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s going to get even worse next year with the way the NCAA just moved up the deadline for players to take their names out of the draft.
However, the innovative Kentucky coach has found a legal way to help Brandon Knight, Terrence Jones and DeAndre Liggins as they contemplate their futures before the May 8 deadline to stay in the draft and hire an agent or pull out and return to UK.
On his website, CoachCal.com, Calipari announced the Ã¢â‚¬Å“Kentucky Combine,Ã¢â‚¬Â a two-day series of private workouts Monday and Tuesday at the Joe Craft Center for Kentucky’s draft-eligible players that will be conducted by NBA personnel.
This way not only will scouts have ample time to evaluate the three, but it will also give Enes Kanter and Josh Harrellson an opportunity to impress NBA personnel as well Ã¢â‚¬â€ not that Kanter really needs much help.
Calipari said on his website that he hopes Ã¢â‚¬Å“this will allow our players to get direct feedback from NBA decision-makers and hopefully create a clearer picture of what their NBA potential may be. Instead of us telling them what we are hearing, they can hear directly from the clubs.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Not only will this help Jones, Knight and Liggins, but it should continue to send a strong message to recruits that Calipari is a players-first coach and truly will do all he can to help players accurately gauge their potential to reach the next level.
By KEITH TAYLOR
WINCHESTER Ã¢â‚¬â€ Josh Harrellson wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t surprised when former teammates Brandon Knight, Terrence Jones and DeAndre Liggins declared for the NBA Draft last week.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“TheyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re all very talented players,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said Thursday during a stop of the Ã¢â‚¬Å“Jorts TourÃ¢â‚¬Â at Strode Station Elementary School in Winchester. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I think all deserve a chance to at least showcase what theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve got. Maybe some teams will be interested in them, but who knows? I know theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re not hiring an agent, so they might come back.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Harrellson expects Knight to be one of the top picks in the draft and thinks Enes Kanter will be selected early in the first round. If it were up to Harrellson, he would put Knight and Kanter at the top of his draft list.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I would probably go with Enes first,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“If I needed a point guard and a forward, I would go with Brandon and Terrence.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I think Enes is a tremendous player,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s very big and very strong and I think he has a chance of doing big things in the NBA. He has a great work ethic and God has blessed him size, talent and skill that a lot of people donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s really working hard to make himself better and I think that is going to carry him far at the next level.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Harrellson credits Kanter for his development last season.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“He had a big part in what I did (last season),Ã¢â‚¬Â he said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“He made me better every day I went against him in practice. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m looking forward to playing against him again in Chicago. He will be up there and thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s where I will be (training).Ã¢â‚¬Â
Harrellson is making draft preparations of his own and has been squeezing in workouts in between studying for final exams. Once the semester ends, Harrellson will be training for the draft in New Jersey and Chicago next month.
Harrellson wants to build on his senior season at Kentucky and sees the next level as Ã¢â‚¬Å“an opportunity to do things that he loves.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I just want a chance,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I know if I make it there (to the NBA), I think IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve got enough work ethic and enough heart to make the team and stay on the team, just by working hard and competing for my spot.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Since KentuckyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s loss to Connecticut in the Final Four earlier this month, Harrellson has been touring communities and various schools in an effort to encourage students and show his appreciation to fans of all ages across the state.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Just seeing the smiles on their faces and just going out and having a good time Ã¢â‚¬â€ it warms my heart,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“As time goes on, you develop a love for (Big Blue Nation) and right now, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m just trying to give back all the love they gave to me.Ã¢â‚¬Â
By LARRY VAUGHT
After spending a semester as a Ã¢â‚¬Å“normal studentÃ¢â‚¬Â for the first time, quarterback Ryan Mossakowski is ready to resume his football career.
HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s signed with Northwest Community College in Mississippi in hopes that heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll be able to land another Division I scholarship after the 2011 season ends. The 6-4, 225-pound Mossakowski threw for 7,433 yards and 51 touchdowns at Centennial High School in Frisco, Texas, but did not get to throw a pass in two years at Kentucky. He redshirted in 2009 and played only briefly in two games last season.
Mossakowski, who ran for 787 yards and 19 scores in high school also, was rated as one of the nationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s top high school 10 quarterbacks. However, he missed part of his senior season after having shoulder surgery and was behind Mike Hartline and Morgan Newton at Kentucky.
Rather than go through spring practice at UK, he decided in January he would transfer after completing the semester at Kentucky.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I will report in June, take classes in June and July, play one season, graduate with my associate degree in December and then hopefully be back at a Division I program,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Mossakowski. Ã¢â‚¬Å“My recruitment will basically start all over again.Ã¢â‚¬Â
When he was given his release by UK coach Joker Phillips, it stipulated that he could not transfer to another Southeastern Conference school. However, by going the junior college route, he can now sign with any Division I school after he earns his degree in December.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Going the junior college route enables me to play and is another route back to Division I,Ã¢â‚¬Â Mossakowski, who would have two years of Division I eligibility remaining, said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“My dream is still to play Division I football.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Mossakowski had hoped to play in the BBVA Compass Bowl when UK lost to Pittsburgh. Hartline, the starter, was suspended, but Mossakowski did not play even though Newton was 21-for-36 for 211 yards with no touchdowns.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“If I had played in the bowl game, it would have been a whole lot tougher decision (to leave UK),Ã¢â‚¬Â Mossakowski admitted. Ã¢â‚¬Å“It was tough sitting out the bowl. My conversations with the (coaching) staff after the game made me decide my best decision would be to get out of here. I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know if I would have stayed or gone if I had played in the bowl game, but it would have been a harder decision.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I was expecting to play because of the situation (with Hartline) and some things I was told. I felt I prepared well and not getting the opportunity to play was rough. But the coaching staff did what it thought was best for the team.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Still, many UK fans are disappointed the big-time prospect left without ever seeing what he could do on the field. His pleasant personality also made him a favorite with fans Ã¢â‚¬â€ and media members.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“This was my first time just to be a true student and not play a sport,Ã¢â‚¬Â Mossakowski, who was also a standout high school baseball player, said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Other than working out, I wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t doing anything. It was tough not competing, but it did give me a chance to let my body relax and get ready for my next challenge.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“It was tough talking to the guys during spring practice. I am still in touch with a lot of them, and I want things to go smooth and well for them. But I just have to trust my instincts and do what I think is best for me and my career.Ã¢â‚¬Â
He visited Fordham and Arkansas Tech before deciding on Northwest Community College and its spread offense that will give him a chance Ã¢â‚¬Å“to sling the ball around againÃ¢â‚¬Â like he has not done for the last two years.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I still have phone numbers of some Division I coaches who recruited me and I want to talk with as many of them as I can,Ã¢â‚¬Â Mossakowski said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“My shoulder is 100 percent, and has been for a while. Taking it easy gave my whole body rest, but the shoulder has been good to go for a while. The ball is coming out of my hand well and now IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll get a chance to show that.Ã¢â‚¬Â
He does appreciate the way he was treated in Lexington the last two years by many UK fans.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I would like to thank them for the support they gave me my entire time here. I appreciate that and thank the fans for that,Ã¢â‚¬Â Mossakowski said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“It was a tough process at times and a lot of fans lifted me up and helped me out. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll never forget that.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Just like many UK fans wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t forget him and his skills they never got to see, especially if the Cats struggle offensively in 2011.