GIDEL: Best and worst of the spring

Lexington – With the annual Blue/White game less than 24 hours a way, it's time to look back at whose spring was hot and whose was not.

Lexington – With the annual Blue/White game less than 24 hours a way, it's time to look back at whose spring was hot and whose was not.


Andre Woodson – No doubt about this one. The North Hardin graduate was outstanding in spring drills and showed the masses that he's capable of leading the Wildcats and silencing the critics. Nobody seemed to own the spotlight more then Woodson this spring and the fact he's been more consistent in his reads represents a newfound leadership in the film room. If there's a reason to be excited for next fall, the conversation starts and ends with Mr. Woodson.

Fatu Turituri – The junior college transfer was supposed to compete for playing time and has not disappointed by any stretch of the imagination, illustrating tremendous skills that will most likely land him a spot in the starting rotation at offensive guard. It appears after a long struggle, the Wildcats have finally landed the quality junior college transfer worthy of taking a starting job as a junior.

Johnny Williams – The Wildcats desperately were seeking an impact linebacker to take over the depth lost by the unexpected subtractions of Dustin Williams and Chad Anderson. The addition of grayshirts Williams and Mabry was just what the doctor ordered as both upgrade the position with athleticism and speed. That should come as no surprise to recruitniks, whom have been anticipating the arrival of both since their signing in 2003. Williams is the gem of the group, as he will most likely catapult this spring's performance into a possible starting job come mid-season.

Terrell Bankhead – A surprise addition to the list, Bankhead worked his tail off this off-season in preparation for his chance at gaining more playing time with the unexpected departure of Rock Johnson and the suspension of Tony Dixon. With both out of the picture this spring, Bankhead saw opportunity and used the most of it by playing very well in several controlled scrimmages.

Jacob Tamme – Does the boy ever drop a pass? Write it down – Jacob will be All-Southeastern Conference as a tight end if he stays healthy next season. He's big enough, strong enough and continues to find a way to get open in the secondary. Not to be overlooked, the connection he seems to have developed with Woodson, whom whether he likes it or not, will continue to look to Tamme to make plays. And to think, if it wasn't for Coach Rich Brooks, the Boyle County HS product would have never been at Kentucky.

Joker Phillips – The offense looks much improved and should have some fire power with a nice group of weaponry. The wide receivers are finally getting an opportunity to showcase their skills and Rafael Little looks to have found a coordinator who understands his ability is not to be wasted on the bench. Not to be overlooked is the upgrade in talent at UK in such a short time under Phillips' watch. The strategy of using grayshirts appears to have worked out very well and the overall talent among the young kids continues to show with each passing practice. Whether UK fans would like to acknowledge it or not, Phillips has the future looking relatively bright.


Tony Dixon – After a terrific freshmen campaign, Wildcat fans were drooling over the possibilities of watching Dixon and fellow freshmen Rafael Little playing thunder and lightning for three more years to come. That dream appears to be all but dead after Dixon allegedly is having trouble cutting it in the classroom and was thus suspended for spring practice. From what we hear, it will take a miracle to keep Dixon in school and if the star running back from Alabama does indeed leave school, the Wildcats will experience a serious program blow after not recruiting a running back in 2004.

Lonnell DeWalt – Where art thou? With talent that oozes off his body, DeWalt was all but destined to be a star at the University of Kentucky. In a newfound passing offense, he was all but set to be a cornerstone for years to come. Instead, he sat out because of academic issues and missed out on an opportunity to learn the new offense and remain in the good graces of Joker Phillips. DeWalt is a must to get eligible, as he could be a real asset to a young quarterback such as Woodson with his size, athleticism and overall skill.

Jo Jo Brown – Brown was rumored to have really worked hard this off-season after fully recovering from an appendectomy. The hard work aside Brown's physical gifts may be his downfall, as he doesn't possess the huge arm that Woodson was blessed with. Brown's game is his quarterbacking smarts, but his inconsistent play of late has added more worries among the Kentucky faithful as to whether or not Brown is a capable back up. Add in the academic suspension in the spring's final week of practice and the Cordele (Ga.) product had one awful month of April. With Curtis Pulley set to show in the summer, things will become awfully tricky for Brown - quick.

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