Six Kentucky football players have accepted invitations to play in national all-star games this winter in hopes of catching professional scouts' eyes.
Offensive linemen Larry Warford and Matt Smith, wide receiver La'Rod King, defensive back Martavius Neloms, defensive lineman Collins Ukwu and kicker Craig McIntosh will represent the Wildcats in various events beginning on Jan. 19 and running through Feb. 2.
McIntosh will play in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl on Saturday in California. Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m. ET on ESPN2. Warford will play in the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., on Jan. 26 in a game televised by the NFL Network at 4 p.m. ET. Smith, King, Neloms and Ukwu will all participate in the Texas vs. the Nation All-Star Game on Feb. 2 in Texas. Kickoff is slated for 2:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports.
Warford is the first UK player to be selected for the Senior Bowl since Derrick Locke in 2010 and the 33rd Wildcat to participate in the event, which is one of the top showcases for NFL Draft prospects. Warford earned third-team All-America honors in 2012 from The Associated Press. He did not allow a sack the entire season and graded at 90.3 percent with a team-high 45 knockdown blocks from his guard position.
Smith was a three-year starter at center and turned in a steady, solid performance in 2012. King led the Wildcats in receiving with 48 catches for 488 yards and four touchdowns. His career statistics featured 134 catches for 1,706 yards and 17 touchdowns, ranking in the UK career top-10 list in each category.
On the defensive side, Neloms played cornerback and safety, recording 53 tackles, with two caused fumbles and an interception. Ukwu totaled 41 tackles, six tackles for loss, four quarterback sacks, caused two fumbles and blocked two kicks.
McIntosh finished second in the SEC in field goal percentage, making 12 of 14, and led the Wildcats in scoring with 56 points.
UK already has had one of the 2012 seniors in a post-season event as defensive end Taylor Wyndham played in the Casino Del Sol All-Star Game in Tucson, Ariz. Wyndham had 27 tackles as a senior, featuring six tackles for loss and two sacks.