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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 or tweet me @AshleyScoby. Until then…
By ASHLEY SCOBY
Jon Toth is one of five offensive linemen in the class of 2012, representing Joker’s focus this year on bringing in young talent on the line to make up for those graduating in the near future. Toth himself is a big boy with a lot of athleticism – exactly what you want out of someone playing in the trenches of the SEC.
At 6’5 and 290 pounds, the word “athleticism” probably wouldn’t automatically come to mind for the average person, but nearly every scout who has watched Toth play uses the word frequently. According to ESPN’s scouting report, Toth has long arms (perfect for pass protection), but some concerns as far as technical ability goes.
My thought on this? Technical stuff can be taught – that’s what coaches are for. But athleticism? That’s something you’re born with. And by all accounts, Toth was.
Toth was rated the 11th-best player in the state of Indiana and the #33 offensive guard in the country by 24/7 Sports. Scout.com had the Indianapolis player ranked as the #60 offensive tackle and a three-star. He had offers from Ball State, Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Toledo and Western Michigan – a list that might raise a bit of a red flag to anyone who follows SEC football. Many players get a bad rep if they are not recruited by the Alabamas and LSUs of the world. But Toth had a very strong showing at UK’s camps, and the coaching staff believed in him. There is a reason you and I don’t make recruiting decisions for an SEC football team, after all.
Toth chose UK based on playing time availability and the chance to play in the SEC – it’s what UK coaches continue to sell, and it’s what continues to bring talented players to Kentucky.
“The fact I might get to play a lot (early) is certainly good because UK has a lot of older linemen,” he said. “Kentucky came to see me in the spring and let me know they were going to be short on offensive linemen and were taking more guys than usual in this class.”
Again, it shows how much emphasis Joker was putting on the line in the 2012 class, and that is sure to pay off in the long run. Once these guys develop (size-wise and strength-wise) and learn the ins and outs of playing SEC-level football, there is no doubt that someone like Toth could contribute. It’s often a lot harder to gauge how good an offensive lineman will be – they’re the most likely to switch positions (maybe even multiple times) and the slightest difference in size or strength could make a world of difference in the trenches.
Toth is most likely looking at a position switch from tackle to guard at the college level, and that will need some adjustment time. Expect a redshirt year out of Toth (as most linemen need), but don’t forget about the Indianapolis product anytime soon.