Douglas carving out niche

Red shirt freshman defensive end Mike Douglas has been impressing coaches, and injuries and illness have provided him an opportunity to get some snaps against Florida.

Mike Douglas is one of those Joker Phillips' recruits that came to the University of Kentucky as a developmental player. Last year, during Douglas' red shirt year, the coach was rumored to be impressed with what he was seeing from in practice and predicted he would be a good player.

"I came in at 210 or 215-pounds and by the end of fall camp was about 230-pounds and at the end of the semester I was around 250 or 255," Douglas said. "So I beefed up quick."

We asked Douglas about always being ready?

He said, "I just came in worked and prepared. I was getting a little down on myself but Uke (Collins Ukwu) told me to keep preparing because you never know when your number is called. I talked to Ricky Lumpkin and he told me the same thing, to keep on working."

Douglas said the snaps he got in the Florida game were his first of the season. He said he wasn't even playing special teams. He said the reason he was down was because he thought he would get some snaps in the non-conference and since he didn't he felt it was a remote chance he would get time once they got into the conference schedule.

The Douglas Theft

We ask him if he felt he legitimately stole the ball from the Florida quarterback?

Douglas said, "I saw his knees keep moving and I didn't hear the whistle and I just took the ball from him."

Defensive line coach David Turner said, "I thought he did. I heard the whistle after the play but that's one man's opinion."

David Turner

"He comes in here (practice) everyday and works to get better. Right now he's earned the right to play - going down to Baton Rouge and playing the number one team in the country," Turner said. What assets does he bring to the table?

The coach said, "Right now he's athletic, he works hard, he's trying to get better and I like the way he's competing out there. For a young guy to come in and make the development since he's been her,e but that's what we expected when we recruited him."

Coach Phillips said he had death in the family and was away for about a week and a half. Collins Ukwu's knee sprain which has put him out of action for two or three weeks and some sickness to Antwane Glenn has created an opportunity for Douglas. Phillips said - "Injury in front of him helped get the opportunity. He went in the game as a backup and a lot of it was because of the time he missed. He made a couple of plays for us and played fast and that's the key when you are playing a team as fast as the one we are getting ready to play."

Rick Minter

"Mike came in here as a little bit of a development player is what I would classify him as. He's gotten in the weight room with Rock and those guys and beefed up. Now he's beginning to grow (as a player). I think you are just beginning to see the start of Mike Douglas. A red shirt freshman rarely makes a tremendous impression, but the adversity created an opportunity for Mike. Antwane Glenn had a little sickness this week and Mike seized the moment. It's not always how you get the job, but once you get it you've got to keep it. So maybe Mike can put himself in position to make Uke (Ukwu) and all those other guys become Wally Pipp or something."

AllWildcats Top Stories