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UK Football: Fan in airport shows recruit about passion for Kentucky football

July 13, 2013|By LARRY VAUGHT | larry@amnews.com

Kentucky’s most recent football commit, three-star wide receiver T.V. Williams, didn’t really know there was as much interest in Kentucky football as there is until he was on his way to Lexington to make an unofficial visit in the spring.

Williams’ flight from Texas included a connection in Atlanta, and during the layover in the airport he says he heard “two guys arguing” about whether Kentucky or Louisville was better.

“One guy finally turned around and asked me what was going on, and I told him I was going to Kentucky for the spring game,” Williams said. “He said, ‘Do you like football?’”

Williams told him yes, and that briefly ended the conversation. However, the man came back and show Williams an iPhone picture of wide receiver Thaddeus Snodgrass, the highest-ranked receiver ever to verbally commit to Kentucky, and asked if he knew who that was.

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“I told him I had just talked to him,” Williams laughed and said.

Next, the man asked Williams his name. Once he found out, he went back and sat down. But not for long.

“I am pretty sure he went and looked me up (on the Internet). He walked back over and asked if he could have a picture with me,” Williams said. “I thought, ‘If this is Kentucky football, this is crazy.’ But it just shows how passionate UK fans are.”

Scouting report: Blinn (Texas) College linebacker Ryan Flannigan thinks Kentucky fans are going to like his teammate, cornerback Shyquawn Pullium.

“He is a big corner. Fast. I think he can come in and play right away,” said Flannigan, who has committed to Kentucky along with his junior-college teammate. “He runs 4.42 (in the 40-yard dash), and is 6-1, 190 (pounds). With the right coaching with (UK coach Mark) Stoops, he can play right away.

“We talked about coming up there and fighting for position and trying to get starting spots right away. But we never planned to pick the same school. We had offers at other places. It just kind of happened that we both liked Kentucky best. He committed before me. He kind of helped recruit me, but he also left me alone and let me make my decision.”

Flannigan, who says the two likely will make an official visit when Kentucky hosts Florida on Sept. 28, calls Pullium “a great player” who can do a variety of things.

“He is fast and physical. He’s great on punt returns, too. When he gets to BBN (Big Blue Nation), he will make plays,” Flannigan said.

Both are part of Kentucky’s highly ranked 2014 recruiting class, which already has 20 verbal commitments.

Flannigan knows he won’t be the “best hitter” in the group, but that doesn’t mean he won’t make plays.

“I like to get to the ball, too, and make tackles,” he said.

“I would rather run sideline to sideline and be a sure tackler and have the agility to get to the ball than being the biggest hitter,” he said. “I would rather do that consistently than come down and make a big hit on a quarterback, running back, receiver. I want to get out there, make big plays, make sure tackles. Coaches talk all the time about wrapping up and using the sideline as your ally. I take pride in that.”

Lunch time: The Kentucky Football Kickoff Luncheon will be at noon Aug. 2 at the Hyatt Regency’s Patterson Ballroom.

During the luncheon, fans will hear Stoops’ plans for the upcoming season and will also have the opportunity to ask questions of the head coach.

The event includes a highlight video, which displays the excitement surrounding Kentucky football heading into the 2013 season.

Fans interested in attending may make reservations by contacting Elizabeth Briggs at elizabeth.briggs@uky.edu.The deadline to reserve tables or seats is July 24.

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