Kentucky might plan on moving Madison Central's Paul Warford to cornerback to take advantage of his speed, but Kentucky all-star offensive coordinator Chris Pardue says Warford could also make a productive Division I running back.
Warford scored Kentucky's only touchdown in Friday's all-star loss to Tennessee and was his team's leading rusher. Pardue, the head coach at Boyle County, said if it had not been an all-star game, he would have had Warford on the field every play.
"He's a very smart, intelligent young man. He said he wants to go to medical school, and I could see him doing that," Pardue said. "He did a great job running and catching the ball all week for us. He's physical, too. He knows how to finish runs, and did against Tennessee. He has that extra gear when he needs it. You can see him change speeds when he hits that running lane. He's an exceptional player."
Pardue would put defensive lineman Corey Peters of Central in that same category. He coached against Peters when he was a junior and Central had James McKinney, who signed with Michigan, at the other end.
"There's no question about how good he is and he could possibly step in at play some right away for Kentucky," Pardue said. "We ran at McKinney two years ago to keep from running at Corey. He was that good then. He's talented and smart. Our coaches who worked with the defensive line said he just kept asking for information and feedback on everything. He's a very coachable, likable kid. He's not loud, but he takes care of business."
And what about Micah Johnson? Even though Pardue was coaching offense, he took time to watch Johnson, especially since his position coach at Kentucky will be Chuck Smith, Pardue's former boss at Boyle County.
"Micah look good in the game. He is a big-time player," Pardue said. "He was a leader all week. I've been to this game before and guys that were supposed to be stars were not great leaders, he did a great job. He made a lot of tackles at linebacker. Kentucky got a good one in him."
So can he play right away for Smith and the Wildcats? "I've not talked any specifics about him with Chuck, but he looks and plays the part of a guy ready to play. I think he has a chance to help right away. Not many freshman can play at that level in the SEC, especially at middle linebacker, and make a huge impact. But he is one guy I could definitely see playing."
Warford's speed shows
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