Monday, July 12, 2010

Ranking the 2007 Recruiting Class

In this installment we look at the UK Recruiting Class for 2007. These players are now seniors (except for the red shirts and those who have been injured), so they are well on their way to defining their careers at Kentucky. This is the class which should be having the most impact for UK for the upcoming 2010 season.


Randall Burden: Cornerback. Randall has been a part time starter and is just now reaching his potential. He has the ability to become a playmaker in the secondary and also has a chance to start making more plays on the ball. At this point, Randall is a solid C+ with the opportunity to become an A over the next 2 seasons.

Brad Durham: Offensive Tackle. Brad has been a part time starter and in the 2009 season really came on when Justin Jefferies went down with an injury. They are working on Brad’s technique and his is a pretty good drive blocker already; with modest improvement, he can really make the right side of the line a real strength of this team. At this point, let’s give him a C+ with the chance to improve that grade significantly with a strong season.

Stuart Hines: Offensive Guard. Stuart has been the best O-lineman since Garry Williams left. He already is considered an SEC caliber starter and barring injury will have his name in the Ring of Honor. He still has 2 more seasons to play, so look for him to continue to improve and probably play on Sunday. Grade: Solid A

Billy Joe Murphy: Offensive Lineman. Murphy has fantastic length and other skills which have gotten him onto the field at times. He is currently in a dog fight with Chandler Burden for the starting OLT position. Most thought that the position would be his by default at the end of the 2009 season, Burden has made it interesting. At this time, due to his filling in and starting a few games in emergency situations in the past, I give him a C-. If he wins the starting OLT position and anchors it for the next 2 yrs, he will probably go to an A-. The sky is the limit for him, he can be pretty good if he wants it.

Ryan Tydlacka: Punter/Kicker. As my old PE teacher (Jim Beshear) used to say, “Anybody, with 1 eye and half sense knows what’s going on here!” The name says it all. Grade: B+ He has really helped UK out at times. Really under appreciated.

Derrick Locke: Running Back. This undersized track star came to UK because no one else really wanted him. He has world class speed and shown that he can be a difference maker. My favorite play from him was a pass that he threw on a sweep. Grade: A- , I am sure that it will soon change to an A+


Taiedo Smith: Safety. Taiedo is another with the chance this year to prove that he belongs on the field. He has other players pushing him in D Tyler, and Jarvis Walker. There are also other players which may get in on some action as well IE Josh Gibbs, and possibly Mychal Bailey. If Taiedo fails to make it this year, he will never be on the field again except for special teams. Grade: INC

Ronnie Sneed: Middle Linebacker. Ronnie has been a backup to Micah Johnson, and as of yet has not demonstrated the ability to be a difference maker. Again, as with many others, this is his year to shine. The talent of the players behind him is immense, so if he fails this year, he, like Smith would immediately drop on the depth chart never to recover. Grade: INC

Greg Meisner: Fullback. Greg came to UK as an undersized defensive end, and until this year has played only sparingly. His transition to fullback will hopefully resurrect his career at UK . At this time, he just has not been on the field or done enough to grade out. Like others in this class, there is just not enough production with a moderate season, he can get his grade up to a C- or so. Grade: INC

Jake Lanefski: Offensive Guard. Jake has been a solid player that suffered a serious injury in the 2009 season and is in rehab. Jake has a nasty streak and if his rehab goes as planned he will be a very valuable backup for the CATS in the future. Grade: C- to INC due to injury. Still a player that hopefully has another chance. He has had some playing time and has had some positive impact for the team

Shane MCord: Defensive Tackle. Shane has had little impact so far in his career. He did have one spectacular play in the Georgia game in 2009. The coaches want him to win a starting position for the 2010 season. He has the chance, the time is now. Grade: His senior season determines everything. For now, he is a C-, a good year can get him to a C+.

Jacob Dufrene: Linebacker. Jacob has yet to have an impact on the field, yet his opportunity is now. There are some rumors that he will be the starting SLB for the 2010 season, if this is so, he will have the opportunity to really up his grade. At this point, you want to give Jacob a low grade, but he has a year to redeem his career. Grade: INC


Matt Lentz: Safety. Looked to be a player until concussions subdued him
The 2007 class should be the backbone of the team at this point; however, due to a lack of talent and injuries at various positions, this class will have marginal impact in the number of players which will see significant action on the field (about 6 players or so). Locke, Hines, and Tydlacka have had a very significant impact on the team in the past, and are looking like very stellar players.

1 comment:

  1. Surprisingly Rivals has five seniors stating for both UK's Offense and Defense, and unerclassmen will probably take over several of them before the season ends. But there are no significant backups that UK will lose, and in almost all the positions we have players returning that will probably be an improvement, with the possible exceptions of Evans and Locke. The 2011 season looks very promising.