Kentucky signs juco linebacker

Kentucky used one of its leftover scholarships from 2001 to sign junior college linebacker Kamaal Ahmad...

LEXINGTON, Ky. --- Junior college linebacker Kamaal Ahmad has signed with Kentucky, coach Guy Morriss announced Wednesday.

Ahmad is a 6-2, 230-pound inside linebacker from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M in Miami, Okla.  He will enroll at UK in January and will be able to participate in spring practice.  He will contend for a starting role following the departure of the Cats' two starters at inside linebacker, seniors Jamal White and Chris Gayton.

By signing now, Admad will count as the 25th and final commitment for the 2001 recruiting class.  Additional signees will count toward UK's scholarship allotment for 2002.  Junior college players who sign during the December signing period must be able to enroll in January.  The Feb. 7 signing day is for junior college and high school players who will enroll in August.

"Kamaal has good size and from the film, it is obvious that he can run," Morriss said.  "We like the fact that he can play for us for three years.  We're glad that he will be here in January and can go through spring practice."

"Kamaal was really playing well for us before his injury," NE Oklahoma A&M coach Dale Patterson said. "He's a real aggressive kid, very good against the run. He has good instincts and a nose for the ball. He's an outstanding tackler. In talking to the Kentucky coaches, he was exactly what they were looking for. He'll fit right into their system."

Ahmad redshirted during the 2000 season has three years of eligibility remaining. He was academically ineligible to play his first year at NE Oklahoma A&M, but Patterson praised his efforts in the classroom the last two years.

"He's a smart kid," he said. "(Academics) shouldn't be a problem at Kentucky."

Here is his biography:

Kamaal Ahmad, Linebacker, 6-2, 230, So-JC, Edmond, Okla. (Santa Fe/Northeastern Oklahoma A&M) … Good athlete who is expected to contend for a starting role at inside linebacker … Played the 2001 season at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, a junior college in Miami, Okla. … Played in seven games, missing part of the season because of a high ankle sprain … Totaled 25 tackles, 14 primary and 11 assists … Added one quarterback sack (-3 yards), two tackles for loss (-35), caused one fumble, and recovered one fumble … Redshirted in the 2000 season and has three years of eligibility remaining at Kentucky … Coached by Dale Patterson … Honor roll student at NE Oklahoma and a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society … Three-year letterman in high school, playing for Edmond (Okla.) Memorial HS as a sophomore and Santa Fe HS, also in Edmond, his final two seasons … Started at running back and linebacker as a junior … Started at linebacker as a senior, notching 133 tackles, including four sacks … Named to the all-area, all-conference, all-district, and all-city teams as a senior … Also a member of the basketball, wrestling, and track teams while in high school … Competed in the 100- and 200-meter dashes, the 4x100-meter relay, and the long jump … An uncle, Eddie Evans, and a cousin, Terry Evans, played basketball at the University of Oklahoma … Kamaal picked UK over LSU, Oklahoma State, Toledo, and Connecticut … Pronunciation notes: Kamaal rhymes with "Jamal"; Ahmad is pronounced "ah-MOD."

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