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By ASHLEY SCOBY
For the rest of the football offseason, I’m going to be doing some previews here on vaughtsviews.com for the UK football season – incoming players, position battles, etc. Want to learn more about a particular signee or want a preview of the long snappers next year? Shoot me an email with any ideas/suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org. Until then…
Two twins with a family history in basketball come to Kentucky for … football?
That is indeed the story of Zack and Daron Blaylock, two of UK’s 2012 commitments for the football team. Former NBA All-Star and 13-year veteran in the league, Mookie Blaylock, is the twins’ father. Basketball blood or not, football is very clearly the sport these brothers are the most talented in.
Both are safeties (Daron at 6-1, 215 and Zack at 5-11, 183) and they led their high school in Georgia (Walton) to the Class AAAAA state finals, finishing as runners-up.
Zack, the more light on his feet of the two, intercepted 11 passes during his senior year, returning five of those for touchdowns. Daron, who is more of a safety/linebacker hybrid (think Winston Guy) had 95 tackles (6 TFL) in his last season at Walton. Not so shabby for a pair of guys who were “supposed” to be basketball players.
The personalities of these two brothers will surely bring some fun to the team, as well. As avid fishermen and snowboarders, Zack and Daron are reportedly never apart. They have said (in separate interviews) that their last fight was in middle school over a sandwich. They told schools they weren’t going to be a package deal, but each knew all along that they would be playing together somewhere.
At safety, the freshmen will most likely be behind guys like Martavius Neloms, Mikie Benton, etc. If Daron ends up moving to linebacker, as it’s suspected that he will, he’ll be behind Avery Williamson, Alvin Dupree, etc. Most would say that Daron needs to gain a little weight before he’ll be successful as an SEC linebacker, but take a look at Winston Guy. Heading into his senior year, he was 6-1, 216 pounds – almost exactly what Daron is now. As long as Daron takes on that hybrid linebacker/safety role that Rick Minter is so famous for, I see him being pretty successful.
As for Zack, he’s a good coverage guy and can make some punishing tackles when he needs to – exactly what Kentucky wants from its safety corps.
With not as much talent coming back on the defensive side of the ball this year for the Cats, it’s possible these guys make a move or two up the depth chart before the season is over. A lot of the offensive spots are pretty much set in stone, but Joker & Minter will be looking for all the talent they can get when it’s time for the defense to step on the field.