Top RB commits to Cats

October 23, 2003|LARRY VAUGHT

One of the nation's top-rated all-purpose backs has said he'll play his college football at the University of Kentucky.

Rafael Little of Anderson, S.C., confirmed Wednesday that he had told UK recruiting coordinator Joker Phillips that he wanted to play for the Wildcats.

Little picked the Wildcats over Auburn, Georgia, Clemson, South Carolina and Tennessee. He also had several other scholarship offers.

"Kentucky is a good school, and I think I will fit into their offense," Little said. "I wanted to go somewhere that I could have a chance to start as a freshman, and the coaches told me I would have a chance to compete for playing time right away. That's all I wanted."

The 6-0, 190-pound Little runs the 40-yard dash in 4.3 seconds, bench-presses 270 pounds and is ranked as the nation's seventh-best all-purpose back by He is considered one of the top 10 high school players in South Carolina.


He had 1,240 yards rushing and 20 touchdowns in 2002 when he also caught 29 passes for 580 yards and eight more touchdowns. His versatility also included six kickoff and/or punt returns for touchdowns.

Little has not slowed down this season as he has rushed for 1,248 yards, caught passes for about 400 yards and already scored 31 touchdowns.

He attended camp at Kentucky last summer, but has not been to a game this season. He plans to make his official visit after his season ends.

"I might take a couple of other visits, too, but Kentucky is where I'm going to school," Little said. "The Kentucky coaches were real excited when I called, and so were all the people here at home."

His hometown is not far from Clemson and South Carolina, but he said he did not grow up a fan of either team.

"I was never a fan of any one team," Little said. "I was open to about any school that wanted to recruit me, and Kentucky really did a good job of impressing me with their program."

Little becomes the 11th verbal commitment for UK's 2004 recruiting class. However, that includes the commitment of Fern Creek receiver Mario Urrutia, who now plans to make official visits to Virginia, Louisville and Kentucky after his season ends.

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