With Fall camp in full swing everyone is watching how the team is developing. Everyone has questions about the quarterback battle.(Mixed Bag) Or how the freshmen are looking. (Mixed Bag) One thing that we always like to look at before the season at WBN is the walk-ons. What can I say, we like underdogs. And while Kentucky’s recent recruiting success means that the days of non-scholarship players becoming major contributors and starters will be few and far between. But there are always a few that rise and exceed expectations and Kentucky has opportunity at some positions, most notably wide receiver. So here are five walk-ons that have a good chance of contributing this year:
- WR Cameron Fogle RS-Fr- Fogle is best known as Drew Barker’s partner in crime from Conner High School. A versatile athlete he has a little Wes Welker to his game. With Kentucky’s current lack of depth at the receiver position compared to what Neal Brown wants to run, Fogle has an opportunity to see the field in the slot and on returns. He will have to earn his keep on special teams as well.
- OL Cole Mosier RS-Fr- Mosier has impressed the coaches during his redshirt year and they feel he is likely to play down the line. It certainly sounds like the kind of guy who could earn a scholarship. He certainly has the size to play and is strong. If his footwork is up to snuff he could break into the two-deep at guard.
- TE Thaddeus Kazunas RS-Fr- Another option because of lacking depth, the Louisville native showed in the Spring that he can contribute as an in-line blocker. The coaches seem to think that Darryl Long will redshirt this year, leaving no depth behind Steve Borden and Ronnie Shields. If Kazunas can show the coaches that they can flex him out like the other tight ends, he could pitch in. Of course he will get the opportunity to contribute on special teams.
- FB Jeff Witthun RS-So- Yes, that Jeff Witthun, the former quarterback. He now plays fullback, which is really becoming an H-back in this offense. People don’t typically think fullback in Air Raid offenses, but Kentucky will run the ball. Senior DJ Warren should be the starter, but he may be playing more of a tight end role. Either way, Witthun will contribute on special teams (see a theme here?) and could be useful around the goal line.
- WR Charles Walker Fr- A true freshman walk-on seems like a long shot to make a difference right away. And it is a long shot. Walker is almost a clone of Fogle in many ways. He also caught a touchdown pass from Patrick Towles during Fan Day, so he can play. Walker could add some value in the return game to alleviate risking the stars.
As you probably noticed, all of these players are on the offensive side of the ball, it’s much easier for a player to work their way up the depth chart on offense. UK’s defense needs talented athletes to work, typically not something found in the walk-on pool. I also chose to include walk-ons who hadn’t already lettered at UK. Players like Tre Dunn, Joey Herrick and Jared Leet will contribute.