Kentucky Wildcats Football: Waiting in the Wings


WBN - Nightcap

Nov 30, 2013; Lexington, KY, USA; Kentucky Wildcats head coach Mark Stoops during the game against the Tennessee Volunteers in the second half at Commonwealth Stadium. Tennessee defeated Kentucky 27-14. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

On Wednesday I wrote about some players whom Kentucky fans may have forgot are joining the Wildcat football team for 2014 in UK’s three transfer players. All three will have a chance to contribute right away and make plays. There are a few more players that fans will likely see on the field who weren’t out there in 2013. Here are some guys who, for whatever reason, didn’t play last Fall who could contribute for Mark Stoops’ team this year.

Most fans remember former starting running back Josh Clemons, just two year ago he was the future of Kentucky’s offense. Then he got hurt and was slow to recover and took a redshirt. When Stoops took over Clemons impressed during the Spring but the injury bug got him again and he tore an Achilles. He may not be full go to practice during the Spring but should be fully healed by Fall camp. Lower leg injuries aren’t good news for running backs, but Clemons has talent and could become a factor if healthy.

Austin MacGinnis was a part of Mark Stoops’ first recruiting class but few people mention him when discussing it. A kicker with a big leg (he hit a 60-yarder to earn his scholarship offer), he took a redshirt year while senior Joe Mansour handled kicking duties. As the only scholarship player at his position, MacGinnis is poised to take the starting job for the next four years.

He didn’t join the 2013 class until the Summer and arrived to camp too late to be a contributor, but defensive tackle Melvin Lewis could end up starting for the Cats this year. He is definitely expected to be a part of the rotation. Only rated as a two-star out of junior college, Lewis picked UK over Miami and Washington.

A big deal has been made out of redshirt freshman offensive linemen Ramsey Meyers and Nick Haynes, and rightfully so, but there is a dark horse that the coaches have identified as a potential contributor. Cole Mosier was a preferred walk-on last season and impressed the Wildcat coaching staff, enough so that he was even in some of the promotional videos the team put out this offseason. Kentucky lost Kevin Mitchell at guard and Mosier happens to play guard. It might be a stretch to see him start, but he has played his way into the competition.

There are several other players who could emerge as contributors after not doing much in 2013. Walk-ons Cameron Fogle, John Ballis, and Thaddeus Kazunas. Redshirt freshmen like Jacob Hyde, Kyle Meadows and Regie Meant come to mind. It’s shocking how quickly this staff has improved the talent-level at Kentucky and turned over the roster to include more players brought in under Stoops than the previous staff in less than two years.

 

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