Walk-on List Taking Shape

Look no further than James Whalen and Deion Holts as examples of walk-ons making it big at a large university.

This season, in particular, with UK still feeling the effects of probation, playing time is still available for incoming walk-ons, who are looking for a chance to play in the blue and white.

Kentucky had preferred walk-on day at the scrimmage on Saturday. The following kids were in attendance:

Hunter Barfield 6'3 220 LB East Jessamine
Wes Coleman 5'10 190 RB East Jessamine
Jarred Kennedy
Nick Jamerson 6'2 190 WR/DB Prestonsburg
Joe Fischer 6'5 225 TE/DE Holy Cross
Matt Bell 6'2 225 LB Madison Central
Jarrod Lawson 6'2 210 RB Corbin

Of this group that attended on Saturday, only Nick Jamerson has verbally committed to playing for the Cats in 2004. Joe Fischer is perhaps the best prospect of the group. At 6'5, he has the size, and certainly has the athleticism. He just had trouble in high school keeping on the weight to dominate at defensive end. If Kentucky can help him add the weight, he could contribute at UK. Matt Bell and Jarrod Lawson would also make for excellent additions to the Cats squad, next season. Lawson has several high Division 1-AA offers, but appears set on playing for Kentucky. Lawson's speed is average for a Division 1 running back, but if the Cats move him to linebacker, he could be a real force.

The East Jessamine tandem of Barfield and Coleman would help with depth at the linebacker and running back position, as well. Barfield has good size and his lack of attention on the recruiting front, could be traced back to changing schools. He would be a steal of a recruit if he walks on. Coleman, is a little small, but was apart of a much heralded offense last season at East Jessamine. Coleman averaged a little over 180 yards a game rushing last season.

Here is an updated confirmed list of walk-ons heading to UK, next fall. The Cats are currently still pursuing several kids, including the ones listed above that attended preferred walk-on day:

Kendrell O'Donnell 6'1 210 RB/DB/P Evansville, Ind. (North HS)
Nick Jamerson 6'2 190 WR/DB Prestonsburg
Preston Thompson 6'5 230 DL Monroe County
Thomas Flannery 6'2 220 RB/LB West Carter

Nick Jamerson appears to be the overall gem of all the walk-ons expected to arrive this fall. O'Donnell certainly brings a heralded high school career to Lexington, but Jamerson has the pedigree and the heart that is needed to be a successful walk-on. If he can continue to improve his quickness, Jamerson will get some playing time as a Wildcat. Thomas Flannery should be an excellent depth provider and special team's player in the future for the Wildcats.

Rumored walk-ons:

Eddie Creech 6'1 210 DB Cumberland
Trip Eckerline 6'2 180 P Lexington

Creech is an excellent athlete and was a dominant high school player back in his hay day. His arrival would bring a much needed athletic build to practice every day. Creech has had his eyes set on Lexington since he first started his recruiting process. He will get his chance, if he arrives and walks-on as rumored. Eckerline is a bit of a stretch to walk-on, but the buzz around Lexington is that the current student at UK will try his hand again at trying to take over the punting job. Eckerline's leg strength has never been in doubt; it has been his willingness to play that has been the biggest hang-up.

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