Monday, July 12, 2010

Breakthrough player

In 2009 Sam Maxwell became a house hold name among UK fans with his game changing plays. Who are the most likely candidates to become breakthrough performers in 2010? Below are a few names to watch heading into fall camp.

Chris Matthews has the size and speed to become one of UK's biggest threats in 2010. Matthews showed flashes of his ability last year, but had trouble learning the offense. During fall camp last year, Randall Cobb raved about Matthews play-making ability. The Cats need need to show confidence in Matthews and throw the ball his way more in 2010.

Randall Burden has received praise from the staff and most feel he could be the next "lock-down" cornerback at UK. Burden has received a lot of playing time over the past two seasons which has only helped his confidence. Now he needs to force game changing plays in order to take the next step.

Ronnie Sneed has backed up Micah Johnson during his tenure at UK. He understands the defensive scheme and assignments which will give him an advantage this fall. Sneed has the inside track on the starting MLB spot, but will have some stiff competition this fall. Sneed will need to show he is more than capable of stopping the run as teams will test UK up the middle in 2010.

Mike Hartline has been the starting QB at UK for two years already. He has also been a lightning rod among fans. As a redshirt sophomore he was handed the keys to run the UK offense and lost his starting role to Randall Cobb. Hartline bounced back with his Liberty Bowl performance, then again for his junior year. He is more than capable of running the offense and is less likely to make a mistake than the underclassmen.

Chandler Burden was moved from defensive end to offensive tackle for 2010. He went through his first spring practice on the offensive side and made an impression on the staff. Burden is pushing for playing time this fall and would become a huge part of the offensive line if he can earn a starting role. They key for Burden will be working on his technique and pass protection.


  1. While Hartline, Matthews and Burden could have breakout seasons I don't think any fall into the same breakout category as Maxwell. Maxwell didn’t get a whole lot of playing time over his first three seasons and noone was really sure how he would do; the incoming freshman that year (Wilson & Huzzie) as well Trevathan seemed to garner more excitement. The rest is history: 81 tackles and 6 interceptions, a couple of which ended potential game winning drives by Louisville & Georgia not to mention 2nd Team All-SEC honors.

    So who do I think it will be? Chandler Burden. A lot of people thought he was misplaced at DE the last two years and he never really seemed comfortable there. I think he is going to shine for us at left tackle.

    Not listed above but my second choice would be senior Shane McCord. Outside of his interception against Georgia he hasn't done a whole lot over the past three years. People are talking more about Mister Cobble and the incoming players and how much better the line will be in 2011. It's time for McCord to step up and shine.

  2. I think it will be one of the running backs not named Locke. Could be Russell, George, Williams, or one of the incoming Freshmen in Gainer or Sanders. So much attention will be placed on Locke, I think there will be great opportunity for one of these guys to shine. Kinda like Locke did his Freshman year. If I had to guess, I would say it's going to be either Russell or Sanders, but it's just a guess. We are stacked at this position.

  3. It will definitely be interesting to see who steps up!

    Thanks for representing the "Sisterhood" Susan, we appreciate your comments.