By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky offensive coordinator Neal Brown considers Ryan Timmons an “elite receiver” who can play multiple spots. Former UK quarterback Freddie Maggard, who lives in Lawrenceburg, says he cannot “remember a more talented, explosive athlete from Kentucky” than what he’s seen from Timmons the last three years.
Timmons rushed for 1,306 yards and 25 touchdowns his senior season, averaging an amazing 15.7 yards per attempt. He caught 33 passes for 1,004 yards and 16 TDs, averaging more than 30 yards per reception. Opponents kicked off to him only three times and he returned them all for touchdowns. As a junior, he rushed 62 times for 1,382 yards, averaging 22.3 yards per carry, and 20 touchdowns and also had 38 receptions for 1,100 yards, a 28.9 average, and 18 touchdowns his junior campaign. He’s a four-star recruit and after verbally committing to UK Tuesday, he signed with the Wildcats Wednesday.
Here are some leftover thoughts Timmons shared at his press conference Tuesday after announcing he had picked UK over Florida, Ohio State and Illinois:
Question: Why do you think Neal Brown’s offense will work in the Southeastern Conference?
Timmons: “Just because if you saw that Alabama lost this year to Texas A&M and they ran the spread. There will be a lot of difficulty in the SEC because each team in one-dimensional and run first. If Kentucky brings in a different type of offense, it will shock the defense because they are not used to it.”
Question: Does staying home to play at Kentucky add any pressure for you?
Timmons: “Not really. I try not to pay attention to all that. I just try to do the best I can and hopefully I can improve and help the University of Kentucky football team improve. Good things are going to happen. We can turn this around. It is just a matter of when.”
Question: Have you always been a Kentucky fan and if so what Kentucky player did you admire/follow?
Timmons: “Yeah. Probably the best one and my all-time favorite UK player is Randall Cobb.”
Question: Do you remember when Craig Yeast of Harrodsburg played at UK and then went on to the NFL?
Timmons: “Actually I do. I actually met him last year. I talked to him a little bit and he gave me some input about Kentucky. I still remember that. He was coaching at Bryan Station and we played a seven-on-seven tournament. I was getting recruited by Kentucky then and he talked to me. I have not talked to him in a while and hopefully he finds out I am going to Kentucky and he will give me some advice to help me out.”
Question: What did he tell you at Bryan Station about Kentucky?
Timmons: “Nothing like playing for the University of Kentucky. That’s what he told me.”
Question: Do you know who coach Brown was even before he got the job?
Timmons: “Yeah I did. One of our assistant coaches, the offensive coordinator, works for Neal Brown at team camps every summer. Each summer he also will go down to coach Brown’s clinic and learn things from him. That is how we got the same offense as them. Our coach is good friends with Neal and who he works with (in the summer), Tony Franklin. We had a great connection as soon as he came and talked to me.”
Question: Did Brown almost become your best friend the last month or so with all the time he spent with you or talking to you?
Timmons: “He was. That is another good thing about it. It is not too far away and now I get to work and get up there and start studying.”
Question: Is it nice to finally have this decision made?
Timmons: “It is kind of a stress reliever. I can stop worrying. I can stop wearing all that other gear (from different teams). I can wear UK gear all the time. I need some more UK gear.”
Question: Do you feel Kentucky wanting you was even more important than Kentucky needing you?
Timmons: “Exactly. I just think it was important how much they wanted you and want you to be a good player. I think it is two different things. They want me and hopefully I can make things happen.”