QB from New Orleans visits Cats and Cards

July 06, 2004|LARRY VAUGHT

He has no scholarship offer from Kentucky and his dropback passing style would not seem to be the best fit for the Wildcats' offensive system, but that didn't stop New Orleans quarterback Sean Santos from making a recent trip to the UK campus.

"I want coaches to know I am interested. That's why I came to Kentucky. I have other assets to make up for being only 5-10. To show that, I have to be where the coaches can see me eye-to-eye," said Santos.

He had the same message for the coaches at Louisville during his one-day visit there, too.

"They were both great schools," Santos said. "Everything about both places from the coaches to the facilities to the atmosphere impressed me. I certainly did like them both. Both have something special and different to offer. But they both have good schools and good athletic programs. I liked them both."


At Louisville, he talked to offensive coordinator Jeff Brohm. "They said they were very interested and would evaluate film and follow me during the season," Santos said.

Kentucky head coach Rich Brooks and offensive coordinator Ron Hudson were not at the UK camp the day Santos worked out. However, he felt recruiting coordinator Joker Phillips and running backs coach Ron Caragher each liked what they saw.

"I think I did pretty well at the Kentucky camp," Santos said. "Whatever the coaches are looking for, I can make it work for me."

He threw for 2,375 yards, 25 touchdowns last year

Santos threw for 2,375 yards and 25 touchdowns last year at Holy Cross High School. One of his favorite targets was incoming UK freshman receiver Richard "Dicky" Lyons. However, Santos said he played in a more run-oriented offense his first two years.

" I am a dropback passer. We throw the ball a lot and run it only a little," Santos said. "But I certainly like UK's offense or I would not have gone there. I've worked in two offenses already in high school. I was able to adjust to both of them. I think I could develop just fine in the Kentucky offense.

"I am not a quarterback that think the system has to fit him. I am willing to take my skills and make them fit the system."

He's visited Mississippi, Alabama and LSU. He hopes to also visit Northwestern and Southern Mississippi as he waits for his first scholarship offer.

However, he liked what he saw at Kentucky.

"What impresses me about Kentucky is that week in, week out, they fill up the seats," Santos said. "They are just waiting for something big to happen. That is very exciting to know and shows the great loyalty fans have for Kentucky football. Who wouldn't want to be part of that? They have football fans who obviously have a passion for the game that I love.

"Dicky (Lyons) being up there definitely played a big part in me visiting. But Kentucky is a SEC school and really has a lot to offer. I'll just wait now and see what happens. But I want to make sure coaches see me and know I am interested."

No doubts about Lyons' ability

Santos has no doubts that Lyons, who will have a chance to compete for Derek Abney's vacated kick return duties, will be noticed during his UK career.

"He is an amazing player. I have played with him since eighth grade," Santos said. "Just watching him develop through his high school career was amazing. It's no surprise to me he's been able to accomplish what he has. I think Kentucky is definitely getting a special player.

"If he's able to make the transition to the college game the way I think he will, there's no doubt he could make an impact as a returner, or maybe even as receiver, as a freshman. He has great genes. His father, Dicky Lyons, was a great player at Kentucky and is a great guy, too. He has big shoes to fill in Derek Abney, but I think he's one of those special players."

But Santos says being at Kentucky has already changed Lyons.

"I still call him Richard. That's the name he always went by until last year when he had a name change. Now he prefers to go by Dicky, probably because that's how he knows UK fans remember him," Santos said.

Scheduling: Kentucky associate athletics director Rob Mullens says UK hopes to be able to release its 2004-2005 basketball schedule in the next two weeks.

The delay continues to be a court ruling that will determine if UK -- and other schools -- can play in a November tournament that will not count toward its normal limit of regular-season games.

However, Mullens did confirm that UK will play Georgia State in Rupp Arena this season and then return the game next year at Phillips Arena, the home of the Atlanta Hawks.

He also said a rumor that UK would play Baylor in the Cats' annual game in Cincinnati was not true. Instead, Kentucky is working on a possible home-and-home game with Hawaii that could bring Hawaii to Cincinnati next season and have UK playing at Hawaii the following year when it is already scheduled to participate in the Maui Invitational.

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