GIDEL: The Return of "The Worm"

All that talent coming into the program in the fall and all anyone wants to talk about within the UK fanbase is the Quarterback battle and a worm. Make that, "the Worm," a.k.a., Lonnell DeWalt, a 6-foot-6, 230 pound wide receiver/special teams extroadinaire, that is attempting to head back to Lexington this fall.

For those not familiar with his hometown nickname, "the Worm" as he's called by his friends, is Lonnell Dewalt. Named for his freakish athletic ability that includes a '43 inch vertical at 6-feet, 6 inches of height, "the Worm," sat out 2005 due to academic troubles and enrolled at a junior college.

The former UK special teams standout as a freshmen and a freak athlete who also starred at wide-out at Kentucky, has told local media members and the UK coaching staff, he will be back playing for Kentucky in the fall.

"All I gotta do is pass," Dewalt reinterrated Tuesday, "I just wanna get back to playing ball and being with my teammates."

DeWalt, who by his own admission does not like school, already passed stages 1,2,3 in the five-step process to gain back his eligibility. Never a strong student, Dewalt passed all his courses in the summer, fall and spring at Northeast Mississippi Community College in Booneville, Miss.

The junior-to-be attended last weekend's practice in Lexington; "I gave Coach Brooks a big hug," DeWalt said. "I told them everything was good."

The 6-foot-6, 230 pound wide receiver is just 12 hours short of being able to enroll in the fall, meaning he would have to pass - just pass - his summer courses in order to meet the required 40% coursework, the NCAA mandates a player needs to be in pursuit of his degree.

Dewalt's return to the gridiron has never been more important than now, after a three week spring session showcased UK's need for a receiver opposite junior-to-be Keenan Burton. Dewalt caught 11 passes for 122 yards and a touchdown as a true freshman in 2004, while also starring on special teams, where he blocked a school-record seven kicks in 2004.

"Dewalt has indicated that he is on track to be able to join us this summer," special teams coach Steve Ortmayer addressed in a live chat with fans this past Tuesday. "Should he do so, you should absolutely assume that we would put him back in his kick-blocking role. He was a rare talent in that and will be again."

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