There isn’t a coach in the nation that wouldn’t be thrilled to have the haul of offensive players the Kentucky Wildcats got in the 2014 class.
Highlighted by Drew Barker, Thaddeus Snodgrass, Mikel Horton, Stanley Williams, Darryl Long, Dorian Baker and Nick Richardson, we could see as many as seven eventual offensive starters from this class alone.
Needless to say, offensive coordinator Neal Brown was ecstatic on national signing day as he watched all of their letters-of-intent coming in, and here’s what he had to say during the NSD press conference:
On Drew Barker competing for the starting quarterback job:
“Well, he’s got the intangibles first of all. I think he’s got tremendous leadership skills, great character. He loves the game of football, studies.
The tangible skills that he has: he gets the ball out of his hands fast, physically he’s ready. He’s about 215 pounds right now. I think we’ve got to keep in mind he’s 18 years old.
He’s still technically in his last year of high school, or should be anyway. So I think we’ve got to keep our expectations in check, but he has those abilities that will give him the opportunity to come in and compete.
He’s going to be thrown into the fire this spring.”
On Stanley Williams and Blake Bone
“(Boom) He’s a guy that’s really a perfect fit for our offense. He’s big enough to pick up the blitz. He can run inside and outside. We can use him inside the slot some as well.
He’s really, really fast, OK? He has the ability to make people miss in space. He’s really a great get by Coach Peveto, to go into Atlanta and a kid who was committed to Georgia for a long time and bring him up.
Great family, going to make a big contribution. … Blake Bone? That was our No. 1 goal in the receiver corps this year. We had to get size and I think if you look at our roster right now of guys that played last year, really we didn’t have anybody over that 6-foot, 6-foot-1 range and everybody can run in this league, but you’ve got to have length.
Because regardless of how fast you are, length wins and we felt like we added two guys with great lengths. Coach Mainord went and got one of the top kids out of South
Carolina, which is a great testament to him, and he’s a guy who needs to put on some weight, get stronger, but I thought he had two really good all-star showings in the Shrine Bowl and Offensive/Defensive Bowl against some really great opponents.
Feel good about him coming in and being able to help us right away.”
On walking the last mile to recruit Jervontius Stallings
“Well, I wish I was making that up, but I lived that. We were right in the middle of the storm last Tuesday and basically we were in a car for seven hours, Coach Schlarman and I were, in which we shared about all the information we could after seven hours in a car.
Got to a point where the road was closed, so we were either going to sit in the car or we were going to walk to the school, so we walked to the school. I got in trouble because I told Jen that he fell on the way, but we got to the school and were able to meet with Bunchy and couldn’t get out.
The road was closed. We slept on the training table there for 3-4 hours. We had to report to the NCAA because you can’t go into two different days, but since the SEC got locked — or stuck — in their offices (in Birmingham, too), we got OK.”
On Dorian Baker
“He came to camp here and he was (pause) physically, he looks the part. He’s 6-3, he’s going to be 215-220 pounds when he gets here and basically for this offense, what we’re looking for, is some guys who are really fast who can really beat you over the top. Guys like Jeff Badet.
We want some guys who are really solid that are strong, that can kind of do everything, guys like Javess Blue, Thaddeus Snodgrass, once he matures is going to be one of those types of guys. And then you want little guys who can make you miss, not real little, but Ryan Timmons type of kids that maybe can play a little running back.
And then you want big, physical guys, guys like Alex Montgomery and guys like Dorian Baker that you can play inside or play on the outside and they’re physically imposing.
They’re bigger than their nickels or their corners and Dorian’s going to be one of those guys. He’s a guy that I’m really excited about.
I think he’s raw right now, but when he really gets honed in on that position and is training year-round to be a great receiver, I think he’s going to have a tremendous career here.”