Oct 5, 2013; Columbia, SC, USA; Kentucky Wildcats running back Ryan Timmons (1) makes a touchdown reception in the fourth quarter at Williams-Brice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Kentucky Wildcats Football: Wide Receiver Preview

Everyone is anxiously awaiting the end of the quarterback battle, but what about the players that the passes will be caught by? If Kentucky is to run Neal Brown’s offense at the pace he wants they will need about ten capable wideouts. When the staff first arrived Brown felt that the receiver depth was the most dire he had seen as a coach. The staff moved to remedy the issue by signing five receivers in February. At this point all could play this season. Here’s a look at the returning players:

  • Javess Blue (SR)- The 2013 JUCO transfer led the Wildcats in every receiving category but still didn’t live up to his expectations for himself. Traditionally JUCO receivers take a year to adjust to the SEC before taking off in year two. Blue knows that this is his last year of college ball and plans to make it count. It’s safe to assume a healthy Blue will lead the team again.
  • Ryan Timmons (SO)- A bally-hooed in-state recruit, Timmons was the second best wideout as a true freshman. Timmons is a versatile talent whom the coaches will use in a variety of ways. Much like former Cat Randall Cobb, expect to see Timmons catching , running the ball and seeing time on returns. Used as an athlete his entire career, he could use some seasoning on the finer points of route-running.
  • Demarco Robinson (SR)- The diminutive pass-catcher is a wild card after a tumultuous off season put his place on the team in jeopardy. The good news for Robinson is that he is still in school and practicing with the team. He can be a weapon in space if he can stay healthy and out of trouble. Expect him to get snaps at inside receiver.
  • Jeff Badet (SO)- After a slow start to the season, Badet really turned it on during the second half of his freshman season. He then broke his leg during Spring practice and miss important reps. He is back for the Fall and looking to make an impact again. Badet is valuable because he can play inside and outside without being overmatched. He is also a good route-runner.
  • Alex Montgomery (SO)- Unlike those listed before him, Montgomery is a big target and red zone threat. He was the fifth most productive receiver on the team last season despite only eight games. He is currently rehabbing the torn ACL that cost him the last four games of 2013. After being ready for the start of camp, he suffered a setback but is expected to be available for the season.
  • Rashad Cunningham (JR)- A breakout candidate last year, Cunningham was ruled academically ineligible. UK could’ve used another big body to pair with Montgomery last year and Cunningham figures to see the field this season. A punishing blocker in space, his hands can be streaky. When he is on, he has the tools to be the best in the group.

 

Nov 30, 2013; Lexington, KY, USA; Kentucky Wildcats wide receiver Jeff Badet (13) runs the ball against the Tennessee Volunteers in the second half at Commonwealth Stadium. Tennessee defeated Kentucky 27-14. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

The freshmen:

 

  • Dorian Baker- Kentucky was happy to land the four star after some late interest from several Big Ten schools. Baker has been impressive during camp, both with his play and his physique. He had offers to play linebacker from some schools. Another big receiver, Baker is versatile and looks to be a star in the making very early in his college career.
  • Thaddeus Snodgrass- The first to commit and an early enrollee, it doesn’t seem like Snodgrass is a new player, and he isn’t developing like one. After struggling a bit during the Spring to adapt, he has been showcasing a knack for getting open in Fall camp.
  • Garrett Johnson- Of all the new wideouts, Johnson is the one people talked about the least. People outside the team that is. Before he could even see him live in practice, Neal Brown singled out Johnson as a freshman that would likely play this season. He has drawn favorable comparisons to Timmons early on, except his route-running is a strength. Johnson suffered a hand injury recently but it’s not expected to keep him out of any game action.
  • TV Williams- The mighty-mite Texan enrolled early and is a fan favorite. He has excellent elusiveness and straight-line speed, but with his diminutive size raises concerns about keeping him healthy in a brutal league like the SEC. His ability to block SEC defenders is also questionable. He could probably use a redshirt to add bulk, but it looks like he will play.
  • Blake Bone- Another big four star receiver, Bone has the size that Neal Brown wants outside. The only issue may be his slight frame. Bone is another player that could use a season to add muscle but will likely be forced into action in his first year. He has flashed in camp, looking like a red zone threat.

Walk-ons:

  • Joey Herrick (JR)- The JUCO transfer earned some snaps on offense last year but will be hard pressed to see the field again. A willing blocker, he has special teams value.
  • Cameron Fogle (FR)- Drew Barker’s high school running mate and favorite target redshirted last year. He will likely see time on special teams and could work his way onto the offense. He has some Welker to his game.
  • Miles Thompson (FR) – The Manual product surprised the coaches wit his work on the scout team last year and has flashed in practice this camp.
  • Charles Walker (FR)- A true freshman, Walker has been a pleasant surprise. He caught a touchdown with the ones during Fan Day. It’s not out of the question that he avoids a redshirt.
  • Ryan Kendall (FR)- A versatile athlete, Kendall is a bit raw and will likely redshirt.
  • David Bouvier (FR)- Bouvier has pleasantly surprised the staff as well, but at 160 lbs. , he will very likely redshirt.
  • Connor Pilch (FR)- The freshman from Georgia will likely spend the season on the scout team.

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