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Do you have any idea who some of our primary targets are at LB and, of those, which ones we appear to have the best shot at getting? I like Williamson, Henderson and Dupree over the next couple of years, but we can't afford to wait until we "need" a certain position before we make it a priority in recruiting. The bad thing is, we already "need" someone NOW. Wyndham has finally stepped his game up at the hybrid position, but he is gone after this year. I'm FAR from sold on Simpson at the S/LB hybrid as well. Williamson is a stud, as is Dupree, and I think Henderson and Pancho are going to be good. Other than those 4, I'm not sold on any of our LB's as being the future of our D.
Something else I have been thinking about is the fact that we are likely to see a big change in our defensive scheme, regardless of whether Joker is retained (doubtful he is) or not. Minter is almost 100% sure to be gone after this year. Considering how his scheme has failed, I doubt very seriously the next DC will run anything similar. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to see us go back to a more traditional 4-3 because I'm not sure UK can recruit the size and speed you need off the edge to successfully run a 3-4 in the SEC. In the event we return to a 4-3, would we likely see Dupree at one of the OLB spots or would he go to a traditional DE position? I don't think he has the size to be a traditional 4-3 DE in the SEC and forcing him to put a hand on the ground would reduce his effectiveness as a pass-rusher. I would like to see us use him at SLB, but up closer to the LOS as a pass-rusher like we did with Johnny Williams several years ago, and then go with Williamson at MLB (of course) and Henderson at WLB.
Josh will answer you in VIP mode so I will take a stab at it for the poor folks.
You hit on one of the biggest problems MJD. Linebacker play has been well below average. Williamson is a good LB but he can't do it all. He certainly isn't Jarvis Jones and I think people forget that. Bud is a very promising LB but he is in the wrong position. He is built for the DE/LB hybred spot. They asked him to move inside because Brause and Mcduffin just aren't there yet (See Louisville Game). Taylor was also asked to move into Buds old spot. Their were 3. Jewel Ratlif, Qua Hussie, and Mosley should be starting in that spot. They are gone for various reasons.
Don't get down on Simpson. He has been hurt since the Florida game. He continues to play at 80% because Josh Forest( Freshman who didn't play that position in HS) is lost at times (See Missouri game). Anyway, That's what we got at LB. It is not working and it will probably cost coach Smith his job. Teams in the SEC target our LB's and safetys because they are our weakspots (Lots of wheel routs and deep post patters).
Now for recruiting. Help is needed right away so they like a Kid named Bond from a Juco in California. He will come with a WR named Mayle who is a big framed kid with speed. They are some quality LB in the JUCO ranks. I would be surprised if they don't grab at least 2 that can come in Mid year. They are also chasing a RB/LB in Georgia named Quinton Smith (or Brown) and a Bud Dupree type player named Shaq Johnson in Florida. But they won't fix anything next year.
I'm still waiting on Demarius Rancifer to make an impact. I thought he had a high ceiling coming out of HS.
Are defense is on the field a ton. Im not as down on this defense as some. We return alot for next year and could be good. The million dollar question is can we put a offense out there that can consistently stay on the field. idc how good your d is u are not going to stop sec teams constantly if u dont get help from your offense.
If you don't think we need some SERIOUS upgrades across the board on defense, you are sorely mistaken. We also don't need to recruit based on who is returning next season. Its 2-3 years down the road from now that scares me at LB.
Thats Quentin James from ga..6'2 215 rb/lb good speed. Heres the deal..2013 isnt gonna be the year for LB's. 2014 is. In 2014 just in state there are a handful of talented LB's.
Derek Overstreet 6'3 230 Paducah Tilghman.
Dominick Brown 6'1 220 John Hardin..this kid is a stud...teammate of 6'6 345lb and growing DT Matt Elam.
Byron Carver 6'3 225 Warren Central
And were in on several highly rated defenders in 2014 at this time.
We could get some LB's in 2013..I just dont see any past Quentin James that could help us. Jeremy Benjamin for whatever reason looks like hes going elswhere..this kid is amazing.
Heres the deal: 2014 is loaded in state..lots of high caliber athletes. If we can manage a good 2013 season..8 wins or so..we could rack up.
Drew Barker is going to be a 5 star QB.
Nacarius Fant wr 5'10 175 out of Bowling Green is a playmaker. Blue Tisdale 6'1 190 RB is too.
Reggie Bonnafon of Trinity is a self-proclaimed UK fan..and a 6'2 200lb 4.4 ath.
Scott Daniel os a 6'1 190 WR with good athletic skill from Scott Co.
Matt Elam and Dom. Brown from John Hardin could help our defense.
If the Cats really wanted to help themselves this year..they should give Richard Trent, Braethitt Co. star QB/SS a look. Trent is 6'1 220 runs a high 4.4(ran a 4.53 at Uk's camp earlier this year.) Trent hits like a truck and could easily play the hybrid Lb/ss or even the will LB. He's also a darn good QB. passed for 25tds to only 3 ints..and has ran for 22tds and has been jerked at halftime of at least 5 games.
Jeffrey Canady is begging for a Uk offer..kid is 6'2 215 runs a 4.4 and could play WR/RB/ DB or bulk up and play weaskside LB.
These are 2 kids that want to play for UK. Bleed Blue. And both are more than good enough to play for us. Whats up?
You just hit on some of the problem. 3 years from now our starting linebackers will be:
Dupree - LB/DE
Rancifer - MLB
Henderson - SLB
Simpson - WLB
Same as it is this year except for MLB.... How bad is that?
I think Pancho Thomas will be our ILB after Williamson. And the thing is...these guys will be so much more experienced. The problem isnt talent..or speed..its inexperience. And in 3 years Dupree and Simpson will be gone. They are both sophs this year. THis defense is improving..we held Ga to under 80 yards rushing then held Mizzou to under 280 yards total. Imagine if our offense was moving the ball..giving our defense rest? THis defense will be light years ahead of this year when we play WKU next year. Hopefully we will have Marcus Caffey back..while JD Harmon looks like a star in the making..6'2 197 whats not to love about this kid? Cody Quinn has played well. The Blaylock twins will be big factors. Lets look at our defense for 2013..
SDE: Donte Rumph P.Graffree
NT: Mister Cobble T.Johnson
Sam: Bud Dupree T.Paschal
Mike: A.Williamson K.Thomas
Will: K.Henderson D.Rancifer
Cat: J.Forrest M.Simpson
CB:JD Harmon C.Quinn
SS: D.Blaylock A.Lowery
I think the Blaylocks are going to be great players. Daron is 6'1 220ish and can flat fly. Zach is a tad smaller but also a big hitter. JD Harmon is a big, physical corner..the staff raved about Caffey.
Because three of those four are not good...experience may or may not help. Behind them, looking at our LB recruiting, nobody else exists.
In 3 yrs, Dupree will be gone and I expect Pancho to be our #1 MLB barring improved recruiting. Outside of those you mentioned, where is the SEC-caliber depth?
Of course we need upgrades. but this defense is flat young. we have Some talent but u cant expect them to shut teams down being on the field the whole game.
Agree.Depth is sorely lacking at LB. That could easily change IF we could land most of the in-state kids in 2014. We got to get a recruiter that can keep our best in-state kids at home. Kentucky is starting to produce a decent number of top echelon recruits year by year. 10 years ago..we were lucky to put out 1 4 star kid. This year alone there is what 6-7? 2014 is another good crop. 2015 will be a big year and includes the 2nd coming of Herschel Walker..Damien Harris..6'0 210 4.3.
I think Ryan Timmons is the best athlete to ever come out of the state..kid has went over 1,000 recieving and rushing last 2 years. Has 40 tds thru 10 games..50rushes for over 1,000. 6'0 185 runs a low 4.3. We will be lucky to land him.
AS far as Lb's..it looks like 2013 isnt the year we will land any game changers..2014 however is loaded...both in state and out of state. Brandon Lee, Verondtae Wilkinson, Tre Williams, ect..then in state with Dominck Brown of John Hardin..6'1 220 runs well..4.55ish..hits like a truck..do not know if we are recruiting him..why?? Byron Carver of Warren Cent. is a 6'3 225 athletic Lb, Derrick Overstreet of Paducah Tilghman is a 6'3-6'4 235 DE/LB that fits our scheme well.
For Uk to be successful..we have to be able to land MOST..of our limited in state kids..thats not been the case of late. Imagine if we had Lamar Dawson, JOn Davis, HUnter Bivin, James Quick, Josh Green..the cb that ran a low 4.3 .
WE have to get a Hc or a recruiter that can keep these kids at home!
I'm on my phone right now so give me a minute and I'll give you the answer that you are looking for.
They definitely need upgrades across the board, but I think there is a lot of young promising talent there. The secondary should be much improved next year as guys like Harmon, Tiller, and the Blaylocks get more experience. Combine that with Caffey (hopefully) returning along with Faulkner, and they look promising there. They need more depth at linebacker, but I also think they have some solid young talent there. Same for defensive line. The key is recruiting players at linebacker and defensive line in numbers every year, so they don't get stuck with a situation like this year.
Crushed by a Yankee.
Whoa whoa whoa. I am by definition a Yankee, but I hate that term. Can't stand the Yankees...
Better wait to see who the coach is in February. The recruiting class is likely to be unrecognizable from what we think we know now.
A new HC will more than likely bring in his DC and OC and assistant coaches which will mean a change in scheme and position changes for some linebackers. Also some linebackers who aren't playing now may play under a new staff. People inside the program that's seen the practises know what I'm talking about. I hate to say it but even alot of the players want a new staff. Everything changes with a new Head coach and staff. Also if the coaching improves players will get developed better. Linebackers at this level have to be developed. Outside of Quarterback its the toughest position to learn.
This post was edited by John46 18 months ago
I would plug Thomas or Johnson in at Mike backer and Rancifer at Will or Sam. BTW Johnson is really a good backer I'm amazed he hasn't played at all. I don't think he will be kept off the field in the future since he's been healthy.
I think you will have a hard time claiming that Chuck Smith is not developing linebackers. How about Woodyard, Trevathan, Kelly, and now Williamson? All were at best average SEC recruits and all will play in the league after winning all SEC and AA honors. In addition, some of the other LB's have turned out to be solid or better college players like Guy, Simpson, Micah, Sneed, Maxwell, and Johnny Williams.Micah was a big time recruit but someone had to coach him to play LB. Most of these guys have spent some time in the league or will. Name another unit in this football program that has done better with the talent on hand. It isn't even close.
Never said Chuck Smith isn't developing anyone. However some of the above posts seem to infer there is no depth or quality backers beyond Dupree, Williamson, Simpson and. Henderson. Well then maybe those others not mentioned will possibly develope under another coaching staff.
Is that supposed to make anyone feel better?
Also if there is a change in staff and the defense goes 4-3 that might be overall better; because most of our players were recruited to play in a 4-3 defense. I could see Dupree going to DE with Farrington at the other. Dupree has the frame more so for DE than a Sam in a 4-3. He will probably put on another 10 pounds by next year anyway. As for linebackers, Williamson might be the only one I'd pencil in as a starter for next year under a different coordinator.
This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by John46 18 months ago
I know it isn't the popular thing to say, but its not that difficult for a team to have one of their LB's named to one of the All-SEC teams by the numerous organizations that put together such recognitions (coaches list and numerous media groups). When you consider the fact that each team plays 3-4 LB's in their scheme and there are typically 4 LB's on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd team for each of the numerous organizations that give out that distinction, nearly every team has a LB on there somewhere. That isn't meant to be a knock on Smith or to suggest that I don't think he is a good coach, but I don't think you would find many non-UK people out there who would argue that he is one of the better LB coaches in the SEC or would be kicking in the door at UK to hire him away. Woodyard, Trevathan, Micah and Williamson have all been really, really good traditional LB's. I don't know how much of that was coaching/development from Smith and how much of it was natural talent and ability, but those 4 are no doubt studs. I would lump Guy in there as well, but he is more of a scheme-specific LB and is more of a Safey in other schemes. If we are going to go on guys who played any form of "LB" at UK, then yes....toss him in there as well.
What bout braxton kelly?
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