By LARRY VAUGHT
Rather than feel miffed over not getting an immediate scholarship offer from Kentucky, Bowling Green receiver Nacarius Fant is more than willing to come to UK’s camp on June 8 and show what he can do. Kentucky offensive coordinator Neal Brown recently watched Fant practice and told him he liked his “footwork” and other things.
“He wants me to come to camp June 8 and compete against SEC type cornerbacks in the 2014 (recruiting) class,” said Fant. “Once he sees that — and he has to make sure I am the type receiver he’s looking for — and I prove I can play one on one versus elite players, then the offer will come.
“I don’t want to be bragging or sounding cocky. But I am a confident person and very competitive person. I am really looking forward to June 8 and showing what I can do.”
Bowling Green coach Kevin Wallace believes the 5-9 1/2, 175-pound Fant, a three-star recruit, says Fant “is gifted with great ball skills” and a special player.
“He has an unusual talent of having the awareness of how to put his body in position to get to the football. He is attentive to detail, is very coachable and makes good use of video to aid his improvement,” Wallace said. “Nacarius has a good blend of confidence and desire to improve, a necessary combination to play at an elite level.
He’s not a big player, but Wallace says that does not deter him on the field.
“He understands how to get open, catches the football and has great ability to make players miss in the open field,” the Bowling Green coach said. “As he gets stronger, I thinks his speed will improve. Both of those ingredients will help him as his career continues.”
Fant has scholarship offers from Western Kentucky and Illinois. He’s heard from Louisville, Indiana, Cincinnati and Purdue. He expects more teams to make contact soon.
“I’m going to the Louisville camp the week after the Kentucky camp and I am trying to get into the Tennessee camp, too,” Fant said. “The camps are a great chance to show what I can do. I’ve been invited to several, so I just have to decide which ones are best for me.”
Fant, who grew up a fan of former Florida great Percy Harvin, list footwork, good hands and how to fend off defenders as his strengths.
“People are surprised with how I can go up and get the ball for my size,” Fant said. “I love to go get the ball.”
He’s had ankle issues and recently ran the 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds at a combine.
“I am not a combine guy and not really a 40-yard dash guy,” Fant said. “I am not as fast as some, but I use other weapons to get away from defenders. I think I play way faster than my 40 time shows. I like people to see me in person on the field and see the way I play rather than judge me based on a time.
“Me and coach Brown talked about my speed. The only thing that worries him is me going against SEC players. We don’t have Division I players playing cornerback here. That’s why he wants to see how I do at camp. But that’s fine because any receiver would want to play in that Air Raid offense.”