Kentucky Wildcats Football: 5 Position battles to watch

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Sept 15, 2012; Lexington, KY, USA; Kentucky Wildcats wide receiver DeMarcus Sweat (83) runs the ball against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers at Commonwealth Stadium. Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Neal Brown’s offense uses a lot of wide receivers and Kentucky is dangerously low on proven playmakers at the position. Junior Demarco Robinson is tailor-made for the slot position in the spread, but the sophomore trio of A.J. Legree, Daryl Collins and Demarcus Sweat have a concerning lack of expirience to man the other receiver positions. All three have shown glimpses of greatness, but their just isn’t enough tape on them to prove they’ll be ready yet. Fellow sophomores Bookie Cobbins and Rashad Cunningham have seen the field none or very little at all, so both are essentially huge question marks. The only thing that is obviously clear is that Kentucky just doesn’t have enough bodies to run any type of spread offense at this point, and all six of these guys will play extensively. The real intrigue will come from watching who steps up to be the go-to guy(s). Such a lack of depth will make playing time available to incoming freshmen and junior college players unlike any other school in the SEC. The real darkhorse to watch here might be walk-on redshirt freshman Austin Sheehan. He was a record shattering receiver in high school and has an established relationship with QB Patrick Towles.

It might seem odd to see an offensive line position here, but it shouldn’t be because this one really matters. Kentucky has had the luxury of leaning on Larry Warford for most of the past four years but he’s exhausted his eligibility and will likely move on to the NFL now. The battle for this spot is going to be intense and will involve several players. Sophomore behemoth Jack Gruenschlaeger was Warford’s backup last season, but he’s likely to see stiff competition from fellow sophomore Shaq Love, and redshirt freshmen Jon Toth, Jordan Watson, and maybe even Zach Myers. This battle should be one of the fiercest and the smartest yet nastiest player is likely to be the last man standing. (Note: Zach West should be entrenched as a starter, but might be moved to right guard. In this case, the position battle would be for the left guard.)

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