Hudson - Experience should help UK's Boyd

February 08, 2004|LARRY VAUGHT

LEXINGTON - Kentucky offensive coordinator Ron Hudson understands the logic that would have redshirt freshman Andre Woodson starting at quarterback next season instead of senior Shane Boyd.

The theory would be that since Woodson will be at UK for four more years, it would be more logical to let him play and learn during the 2004 season rather than play Boyd and go into 2005 with an unproven quarterback.

"All I know is that you could have said the same thing last year with Jared (Lorenzen) and Shane," said Hudson. "We were only going to have Jared for one year, but we went with him.

"The fact that Shane has been in our offense one year has us expecting bigger things out of him. We expect him to do all the things we think he can do. To put all that pressure on a young kid like Andre, that's not fair, even if he does have four years left. That would just be unrealistic from my standpoint. Eventually Andre will be a fine player, but I'm just not sure when he'll make all the adjustments and be ready."


Boyd, Lorenzen's backup the last two years, has played sparingly at quarterback. However, his athleticism seems to be what Hudson wants at quarterback.

"Shane has got to be a student of the game," Hudson said. "He's got to be committed to this game and studying this game. He's got to watch film and do the little things you have to do not to throw a couple of bad interceptions and be able to get us in the right schemes to take advantage of his athleticism because he brings some special things to the table."

However, Boyd will play on the Kentucky baseball team this spring. Hudson admits that will take away from Boyd's football study time, but that coach Rich Brooks wanted Boyd to be able to play both sports if that's what the player wanted.

"He's still participating with the football team and throwing with our players," Hudson said. "It's not like he's totally divorced himself from football. But maybe that time he's spending in the bullpen, he could be watching film. Still, a young man is only young so long and if that is what he wants to do, then he should do it."

Late find: Hudson first evaluated Georgia high school quarterback Joe Joe Brown last spring. However, when UK decided to concentrate on Trinity quarterback Brian Brohm, Brown dropped off UK's recruiting list.

Once Brohm committed to Louisville, Kentucky went back to Brown. He had committed to South Carolina, but the Gamecocks also had two other quarterbacks and were wavering on their scholarship offer to Brown.

"You usually don't see a quarterback like him sitting out there that late waiting to see what happens," Kentucky recruiting coordinator Joker Phillips said. "He's a guy who is an unbelievable leader and athlete.

"Joe Joe Brown will be a quarterback here for a long time. The guy can play. We recruited him as a quarterback, not as an athlete. He's a quarterback and he's the one true quarterback we signed."

Hudson says Brown should eventually be a nice fit in UK's offense.

"We want to move the ball better and be more productive," Hudson said. "The only way to do that is to have good players. I think he'll eventually be an impact player in this program. He can run and throw.

"We're very confident in our quarterback situation now with Shane, Andre and Joe Joe."

In-state success: Recruiting in-state players remains a priority for UK coach Rich Brooks and he likes the group he got this year.

Mayfield offensive tackle Micah Jones and Warren Central receiver Lonnell Dewalt were the two highest rated in-state players in Kentucky's recruiting class. Here is what Brooks had to say about the other in-state signees last week:

* Jason Leger, defensive lineman, Rockcastle County.

"He has great strength and is a hard guy to block," Brooks said. "He's a physical player. He can run and he always plays hard."

* Marcus McClinton, safety, Fort Campbell.

"This guy is a man. He plays safety like a man," Brooks said. "He will hit you. He has size and range. He's an articulate young man off the field, but he's a real hitter on the field."

* Aaron Miller, offensive lineman, East Carter.

"We needed big linemen and he's one that really will help us while he's here. He's big and he moves well," Brooks said.

* Myron Pryor, defensive lineman, Eastern.

"There's no doubt he's a stout guy who should make a good nose guard," Brooks said. "He has all the tools to be a good defensive lineman. He's somebody we really liked."

* Gabe Wallace, linebacker, Fort Campbell.

"He has great speed, which we need at linebacker. He's a real playmaker because of his speed," Brooks said.

* Garry Williams, offensive lineman, Seneca.

"He's probably the most athletic and fastest of the offensive linemen," Brooks said. "He's a guy that can play guard or center because he'll have the ability to pull, trap and lead a sweep."

Familiar face: Louisiana signee Dicky Lyons Jr. is the son of former UK running back-return specialist Dicky Lyons. Brooks coached against him at Stoll Field, where Kentucky played before Commonwealth Stadium opened, when he was an assistant at Oregon State. Kentucky won the game.

Brooks now thinks Lyons' son will be a productive player.

"He's a bigger, thicker Derek Abney," Brooks said. "He has tremendous speed. He weighs more now than Derek did as a senior. He'll bring excitement to the return game."

Lyons returned 15 kicks for touchdowns during his prep career. He averaged 42 yards per kickoff return and 19 yards per punt return his senior year.

"We think he could really end up being special," Brooks said. "He just has a knack for finding holes on returns that you cannot teach. His speed and elusiveness will really help us."

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