By LARRY VAUGHT
WOODRUFF, S.C. — He was ranked among the nation’s 50 best receivers by Rivals.com and had 72 catches for 1,247 yards and eight touchdowns after making 65 catches for 1,150 yards and 14 scores as a junior. He also had offers from Arkansas, Clemson, Louisville, Mississippi and more, but Blake Bone signed with Kentucky in February and is looking forward already to his role in next year’s offense.
“I committed pretty early to help out with my senior year to get it out of the way and not have that burden on my back. I feel great with the recruiting class that we have got and the coaches,” said Bone during an interview at Woodruff High School. “It is shaping up pretty great for 2014. We have a good class, pretty solid group of athletes.
“Quarterback Drew Barker was a big get for us. We have receivers and a defense coming back next year like (end) Bud Dupree to hold it down right now. It is just good feeling to have to a program that is rebuilding but we have the players to bring it back.”
Question: Had you talked to any of the current UK coaches before they got to Kentucky?
Bone: “I really hadn’t heard from them. The first few days they got there, (receivers) coach (Tommy) Mainord called me up. I remember I was in class and my head coach came to me and pulled me out of class and was like, ‘Hey, we got Kentucky on the phone.’ I didn’t think much of it because I was thinking of (former UK coach) Joker Phillips and his staff. I wasn’t paying much attention, then coach Mainord told me how they had a whole new system and it peaked my interest. After I sat down with coach Mainord and talked business and football, he seemed like a great guy and was down to earth and a player’s coach. I am looking forward to him coaching me for four years.”
Question: What did your head coach, Brian Lane, think of your interest in Kentucky initially after UK’s 2-10 season and the coach being fired?
Bone: “Coach Lane helped me a lot but he was never influential in making me decide one way or the other. He never told me what to do. He was level headed about the situation and helped me out and seeing through what coaches were really meaning to say or what they were saying. A lot of stuff not true and you don’t need to listen to. He was really good at setting aside what was fact and what was just opinions. But he wasn’t opinionated about any college.”
Question: When coach Lane describes you as flamboyant and confident, is that accurate?
Bone: “He is always giving me crap about my hair styles, but I do like Mohawks. I will probably come in my freshman year with a blonde Mohawk. To a certain extent, I do have my own way of doing things. At the next level, you have to have a certain amount of confidence, especially to play in the SEC. If you come up against a four-year defensive back who is a senior for Florida, they are not going to cut you slack as a freshman. You have to have a certain amount of confidence as a freshman to step on the field and strap it up. I would like to say I could set myself aside personality-wise in a game.”
Question: Do you have a knack for making awkward, acrobatic catches?
Bone: “Yeah, but you don’t think as a player about what you can do and what you can’t. But in game-time situations and the ball is coming my way, my only mission is to catch the ball and I guess that is why I was highly recruited. Whether I am in traffic or wide open, I am going to do my best to catch the ball. If I have to go over top of the DB or fly around him to catch the ball, I guess my ball skills are pretty good and why a lot of college coaches wanted me, especially with the big frame I have got.”