Kentucky fans love to compare current players to past greats. Every time a quarterback has potential, Tim Couch is mentioned. Every junior college transfer is mentioned in the same breath as Stevie Johnson. A defensive leader is set side-by-side with Wesley Woodyard. Frankly, it isn’t fair. Those are three NFL players and all-time greats for Kentucky. But we do it anyway, heaping huge expectations on players barely removed from their high school prom. With that being said, here is a comparison between this year’s freshman who have seen the field and past Kentucky players that is entirely unfair but lots of fun to read:
JoJo Kemp – Rafael Little. Fans are extremely high on Kemp, with good reason. He is the lead running back as a true freshman and will only play more as the season progresses. Some would compare Kemp to Derrick Locke, but his skill set resembles Little more. He has the tools to develop into a dangerous all-purpose threat who can break it outside but has a little power between the tackles. The UK record book is littered with Little’s name and if JoJo Kemp stays healthy we could see him there too.
Ryan Timmons- Randall Cobb. It’s tough to compare a kid to a guy whose name once with the “The Legend of” before it, but skill-wise Cobb is the best comparison for the young Kentuckian. Timmons is dangerous as a receiver and as a runner already, and he was a prolific return man in high school. With Kentucky moving toward a more traditional Air Raid in the future, don’t be surprised to see Timmons become the triggerman in the Wildcat formation.
Jeff Badet- Keenan Burton. Badet has flashed playmaking ability but he has the route-running acumen that will help him become a steady player for the Wildcats. “Steady” is not a knock on Badet or Burton, Keenan had one of the best careers of any receiver to come through Kentucky. But his greatest contributions were his reliable play and little things like blocking. Badet appears to have the work ethic and attitude required to succeed.
Alex Montgomery- Jacob Tamme. Yes, Montgomery is currently a receiver and Tamme was a tight end. You may see Montgomery move to tight end sooner rather than later, but regardless the difference isn’t much. Both players can used as big targets who can overpower defensive backs and outrun linebackers, creating matchups problems for a defense. As Montgomery develops you may see him busting plays down the seam and continuing to become a red zone threat.