July 3, 2012

Defections, disappointment in 2009 signing class

This is the second in a four-part series examining the signing classes for the Kentucky football team from 2008-11. Taking another look at how the previous recruiting classes panned out can help explain where the program has been and where it might be this year.

Below is a brief summary of each player's career to this point. Players are organized into groups according to how their careers played out, then listed alphabetically.

Kentucky's 2009 signing class was a big one, with 28 players pledging to become Wildcats. But the highlight came when a pair of star quarterbacks from out-of-state both signed with UK. There was also a trio of players from the pipeline UK had developed in LaGrange, Georgia.

None of those players' careers lived up to expectations, though, and the class as a whole has been underwhelming. Only 13 players remain from the original group of 28, and 12 left the program before their careers ended or never reached campus. While many solid players remain, some of the players left have had only marginal success to this point. It was the No. 41 class of 2009, according to Rivals.

Most of the players in the 2009 signing class will either be seniors or redshirt juniors. At least one captain is likely to come from the class this year, and how it performs should have a major impact on the Wildcats' 2012 season.

Still on the team:

Jordan Aumiller: Named a freshman All-SEC in 2010 after catching 18 passes for 193 yards but has faded from the rotation since. Did not have a catch in 2011.

Mister Cobble: Was academically ineligible for freshman year, but now a returning starter on the line and key defensive cog.

Jonathan George: Former high school track/wrestling star listed as the No. 4 running back entering spring practice.

Tristian Johnson: Listed second string at DT entering spring practice. One of three LaGrange players to sign with the Wildcats in this class.

Anthony Kendrick: Should be in for playing time at tight end in fall, but hasn't made a big statistical impact to this point.

La'Rod King: A returning starter at receiver who could push for 1,000 yards this fall. Has been important to the offense since playing as a true freshman.

Patrick Ligon: Moved from defensive line to tight end this offseason. Hasn't seen significant playing time and is unlikely to in the coming season.

Kevin Mitchell: Expected to be the starting right tackle to open the 2012 season, but hasn't played much to this point in his career.

Martavius Neloms: Returning starter at safety and a likely leader on the defense. Had 55 tackles as a sophomore and was tied for third on the team with 71 stops last year.

Morgan Newton: Highly-touted quarterback played well as a true freshman, but was disappointing before being injured in 2011. Likely has seen the end of significant playing time entering senior year.

Donte Rumph: This was the second of three times Rumph signed with UK before reaching campus with the 2010 class. Now a returning starter on the line.

Dakotah Tyler: Left the team in summer 2011, but returned to program in June as a safety.

Larry Warford: The Wildcats' best lineman. Will be a three-year starter when he finishes his career and likely to be Kentucky's first offensive lineman drafted in two decades.

Graduated/Exhausted eligibility

Mark Crawford: Served multiple suspensions during his career, but was in the DT rotation.

DeQuin Evans: Defensive captain as a senior in 2010. Had a productive junior season before injuries slowed him in 2010. Now with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Chris Matthews: Rangy receiver started two years and had 1,000 yards as a senior but never made an NFL team.

Other/No longer with program

Brian Adams: Caught 8 passes in two seasons before deciding to focus on baseball after spring 2012. Signed with the San Diego Padres in summer 2012.

Justin Bean: Mississippi wide receiver was last heard from at Texas State in spring 2011.

Qua Huzzie: Squatty LaGrange linebacker had 80 tackles in 10 games at Murray State in 2011 after transferring during fall camp.

Demetri Merritt: Third LaGrange player and the second LaGrange linebacker in this class never made much impact.

Terrell Mitchell: Highly regarded Georgia tight end didn't qualify and ultimately landed at a Kansas junior college. Now listed on the roster at Florida Atlantic.

Ryan Mosby: Linebacker from Texas has signed with Louisiana-Lafayette to play the 2012 season.

Ryan Mossakowski: Highly-touted recruit now at Lamar after throwing for 2,600 yards with 26 touchdowns and 14 interceptions at Northwest Mississippi in 2011. Also had seven rushing touchdowns.

Donald Russell: Led Georgia State with 665 rushing yards and nine touchdowns in 2011.

Sam Simpson: Highly-rated center gave up football due to back injuries in summer 2012. Never saw the field for the Wildcats.

Jarvis Walker: Safety committed along with his brother, but never made a real impact despite being No. 46 player at his position in the country.

Myron Walker: Defensive tackle and brother of Jarvis Walker didn't accomplish much before leaving program.

Ridge Wilson: Physical specimen started 2011 at strongside linebacker, but was arrested on felony drug charges in February and dismissed shortly after.



 

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