VAUGHT: Burke's timing good for UK

This week produced more good news than bad news for University of Kentucky football fans. Obviously, the good news was having Henderson County quarterback Will Fidler commit to the Wildcats. The bad news was losing Lexington Catholic quarterback Justin Burke to North Carolina State.

But at least Kentucky knows where it stands quarterback-wise one month before the season starts. Compare this to last year when the Cats officially went to February without knowing if Curtis Pulley would stay firm on his commitment and lost another highly-touted quarterback, Bill Stull, at the last moment.

Several highly-touted in-state quarterbacks have gone to other schools the last three years. That's going to happen, especially when a state produces multiple Division I quarterbacks each year as Kentucky has recently. But it would have been devastating to Rich Brooks if both Fidler and Burke had decided to pick other schools. The perception would have been that top high school players in the state had lost all faith in Brooks and his staff if both players had verbally committed to other schools this early.

As nice as it would have been for UK to have Burke, at least the Cats know where they stand now. They don't have to wait until February like they did with Brian Brohm.

Burke actually did UK a favor by making his choice now. The Cats can concentrate on other players if they truly want to sign a second quarterback. Or if Brooks is convinced Andre Woodson and Pulley are both the real deal, then UK is set by adding a player like Fidler who most analysts project as a player who will improve dramatically in college.

There probably was no way the Cats could have landed both in-state players. Why would two quarterbacks who both want to play come to the same school? It happens very rarely.

Both Fidler and Burke are terrific players and seem to be outstanding young men. North Carolina State is getting a jewel, but the Cats have to believe they are, too. And other in-state recruits can see that a player like Fidler has the confidence in Brooks and his staff to make his decision a month before UK even plays its first game.

So in the long run, all the news from this week actually was good news for Kentucky because the Cats have a talented in-state quarterback in their 2006 recruiting class and can now focus their attention on other players and needs.

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