Vaught's Views: Boyle players not feeling All-Star pressure

June 15, 2004|LARRY VAUGHT

LEXINGTON - If they were from any other team, Brad Cloud and Ian Young would not be considered marquee players.

However, because they are from Boyle County, the two players are as well known as many of their Kentucky all-star teammates who will be going on to play Division I-A football next season.

Cloud and Young played on four straight state championship teams at Boyle and helped the Rebels win 58 of 60 games during their careers. Now they are busy helping the Kentucky team prepare for Friday's game in Knoxville against the Tennessee all-stars.

"It means a lot to be here playing with these guys," said Young, who will play at Eastern Kentucky, after Monday's practice at the University of Kentucky. "Everybody here is really good. You are one of only a few in your state that gets to come here and represent your state in this game, so it means a whole lot to me."


"It is an honor just to get selected to play," said Cloud, who currently plans to go to Western Kentucky as a preferred walk-on. "I am honored they thought I was good enough to play with this these guys."

Young and Cloud certainly have the numbers to be here. Young had 101 tackles, including 19 for loss, last season. Cloud had 100 tackles, six fumble recoveries, five interceptions, 13 pass breakups and 49 catches for 804 yards and nine touchdowns.

Cloud will be in the secondary, while Young will be at defensive end

Cloud will play in the secondary Friday while Young will be at defensive end. They insist they feel no extra pressure because of Boyle's success, but it's obvious they know teammates and others do watch them to see if they can figure out what has made the Rebels so successful.

"I come out here and try to do my best every drill because I know people are watching," Young said. "Sometimes you can sense that players think you are a little different and some say they thought we might even be stuck up or something because of all the winning we did."

"It's not really pressure you feel because you are from Boyle County," Cloud said. "But you don't want to let anyone down. We are just trying to come together as a team so we can win. I went to the game last year. I know everybody on both sides wants to win and plays hard."

Young has also seen previous Kentucky-Tennessee all-star games. He's aware that Kentucky has won three of the last four games, but probably didn't know Kentucky had lost nine of 10 before reversing that trend recently.

"I think this game is a good chance to play with guys in your state that you have played against, or heard about, for four years. But it's also a good thing to get to play Kentucky's big rival," Young said.

The roster includes Kentucky signees Micah Jones of Mayfield, Gabe Wallace and Marcus McClinton of Ft. Campbell, Lonnell Dewalt of Warren Central, Aaron Miller of East Carter and Garry Williams of Seneca. It also has Louisville signees Mario Urrutia of Fern Creek and Scott Kuhn of Conner.

Dunn and Penix are two of the running backs

Then there are running backs Mark Dunn of Harrodsburg and Charles Penix of Danville.

The Rebels were also supposed to get to play with Pulaski County's Cole Draughn, but he was one of three players that did not report Sunday. He has a foot injury.

"It's just so different on this team because there is so much talent at every spot," Young said. "You have to do everything right. You have to be real sound in your fundamentals. You have to be really strong and focused on what you are doing to get it done against other people that are just as good, or better, than you are."

Cloud says any mistake will be "exploited" not only in practice, but also in Friday's game. However, he says there is one big plus to the talent-laden roster.

"If you make a mistake, it shows. But your teammates are also very good. I have never been on a team with star players at every position like this," Cloud said. "If you do make a mistake, there likely will be somebody that can help you recover because all the players are good, but they are also fast."

However, no other player on the roster has four state championship rings like Cloud and Young do and that's why no matter what anyone says, everybody is going to be watching the two Rebels all week.

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