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By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky’s streak-ending win over Tennessee Saturday certainly enhanced the way high school seniors who plan to sign with the Wildcats in February feel about their future.
Here’s what three UK commits contacted had to say about the win.
Ã¢â‚¬â€Ã‚Â Jordan Watson, offensive lineman, Fayetteville, Ga.
He had planned to attend the game but that changed after his grandmother passed away last week and he decided to stay home with his family. However, he says he Ã¢â‚¬Å“watched the whole thingÃ¢â‚¬Â on TV.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I was about as fired up as I have been in a while,Ã¢â‚¬Â Watson said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Watching and seeing Roark (a receiver who was forced to play quarterback) play so hard and lay his heart on the field was incredible. After the game, seeing the fans storm the field was incredible. I would have given anything to be there. Beating Tennessee is better than bowl games. I know what that win means.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Obviously, I hope it is a sign of things to come. I definitely could get used to beating Tennessee every year. I think things are really looking up with the program. We are losing some good players like (Danny) Trevathan, (Winston) Guy and three offensive linemen, but I am excited about the future. The fans are crazy, and IÃ¢â‚¬Ë†like that. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a great place for me and we will be building on this Tennessee win for years to come.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Watson noticed that several recruits, including Kentuckians Patrick Graffree and Towles, posted Facebook comments after the game as did Toth.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“There was a good bit of buzz among recruits about the game. Then I read a lot of blogs. There was just a lot going on,Ã¢â‚¬Â Watson said.
Ã¢â‚¬â€ Daron Blaylock, linebacker, Marietta, Ga.
He thought it was Ã¢â‚¬Å“neat to see fans charge the fieldÃ¢â‚¬Â after the game and watched parts of the game on TV.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“It was so exciting. I am so happy for (UK coach) Joker (Phillips) and (assistant) coach (Greg)Ã¢â‚¬Ë†Nord,Ã¢â‚¬Â Blaylock said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I was already solid with Kentucky, but it was pretty cool that fans will react like that and cheer us on. I never had any doubts about coming to Kentucky, but this made me really feel good about my decision.Ã¢â‚¬Â
His brother, Zack, a safety, will also be coming to UKÃ¢â‚¬Ë†with him. They have Walton High School in the state semifinals this week or they likely would have been at the game.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“It has been a while since our team has gone this far, but we think we have a great chance to win,Ã¢â‚¬Â Blaylock, who has also been used on offense and has 10 receptions this year, said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I have played well on defense and just want to finish the season strong and then get ready to be part of the Kentucky program.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬â€ Josh Harris, running back, Maysville.
HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s had a difficult season because a foot injury required surgery and forced him to miss almost the entire year. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s partially why he enjoyed being at Commonwealth Stadium so much Saturday.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“It was awesome to watch how excited everybody got,Ã¢â‚¬ÂÃ¢â‚¬Ë†Harris said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“It was huge to snap that losing streak. It may not have been the prettiest game to watch, but it was an awesome win.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t rush the field because my foot is still healing. I thought about it, but I was afraid somebody would go wild and jump on it. I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get to go in with the team after the game, either, because I had to leave to get back home. But IÃ¢â‚¬Ë†know this makes me feel even better about coming to Kentucky. The way the players got so excited and played so hard just makes me feel even more confident about my decision.Ã¢â‚¬Â
He says his foot is improving and soon heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll be out of the protective boot he wears and able to start jogging.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s tough to watch your teammates play and not be out there,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m just glad IÃ¢â‚¬Ë†made my decision early and didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have to worry about impressing anyone after IÃ¢â‚¬Ë†got hurt. UKÃ¢â‚¬Ë†wanted me, and IÃ¢â‚¬Ë†wanted them bad. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s why I loved the way they battled Saturday. They had not shot at a bowl game, but they came out with all they had and got a huge win.Ã¢â‚¬Â