News & Notes from Chattanooga

The Tennessee-Kentucky Annual Football game was moved to Chattanooga because of renovations with Neyland Stadium. The move meant that Kentucky fans hoping to see a glance at the future in Paul Warford, Corey Peters, Micah Johnson, Justin Jeffries and Josh Minton would have to drive some 5 hours.

And to those that did make the drive, the gas was far from worth it.

Paul Warford was the lone standout out of the UK signees that were on hand, as Peters, Johnson and Minton failed to live up to their billing in their first appearence on the field together.

"I don't think we had that fire," Peters said afterwards. "I'm glad I did it, to get into shape, but I'm really disappointed with the effort."

Former Madison Central standout Paul Warford ran for 80 yards, but had 59 on a counter play towards the end of the game. Kentucky would subsequently falter later in the drive as Brian Anderson fumbled away Kentucky's best chance at tieing the football game.

Warford did add the only touchdown for Kentucky.

Johnson, the state's Mr. Football, sported the annual number one jersey and was all over the field, but had two 'bone-head' plays that cost Kentucky dearly. One was a late hit out of bounds that led to a missed field goal and another, a personal foul face mask, that set up Tennessee's go-ahead score.

Peters and Minton quietly recorded tackles, but did not factor as much in the game, as many had thought they would. Surprisingly enough, Paducah Tilghman's Bryan Hall, who signed with Arkansas State, dominated the line of scrimmage throughout and paced the Kentucky defensive line with 8 tackles.

Other notables included an interception by Michigan State bound Enrique Shaw and a dominating performance on the line by Colorado bound Quintin Borders, who has added at least 15 pounds since his signing day ceremony in February.

The overall MVP for the Kentucky All-Stars had to be Ben Guidugli. The Tight End from Fort Thomas Highlands was a difference maker across the middle, supplying the Kentucky All-Stars with their only means of offense the entire game.

Sad, Sad Performance

Excuse my ignorance, but I believe the state of Kentucky's 14-7 loss to the Tennessee All-Stars to be a complete disaster and a major step back for the state of Kentucky football in general.

21 Division 1-A signees participated for Kentucky, in comparison to Tennessee's 2 Division 1A signees. Lost in the reality of the situation was those notable Tennessee Division 1A signees that did not participate for Tennessee.

UK recruits Ricky Lumpkin, Preston Brown and LaRay Foote don't even scratch the surface of the number of players for the Volunteer state that did not decide to attend the All-star contest.

4-star recruits Brandon Warren, Jacques McClendon, Tremayne Coger, Todd Cox and 3-star recruits Greg Hardy, Duke Calhoun, Graig Cooper, Adam Smotherman and Mike Berry did not participate for an extremely outnumbered Tennessee squad that would still defeat lowly Kentucky.

Kentucky, in comparison, played without notables Justin Burke and Luke Stocker. Outside of that duo, it was the state's best ... period.

Whose to blame for the loss? Point no further than Kentucky head coach Perry Thomas, who said prior to kickoff that he felt no pressure heading into the game.

Thomas had absolutely no package for Western Kentucky bound KJ Black, which caused the Kentucky offense to do very little when he replaced Male's Brian Anderson.

Of the plays Black was apart of, only a handful were not quarterback draws and thus led to the Kentucky offense recording just over 10 yards of total offense when the former Fern Creek signal caller was in there.

That shows lack of preparation and that falls into the lap of the Paducah Tilghman head coach.

Best Walk-on Award

No doubt that Louisville received a treat in walk-on Blayne Donnell from Trinity HS in Louisville.

Donnell recorded 6 tackles from his cornerback spot, and tipped away pass after pass, adding an interception for the Kentucky All-Stars.

For a walk-on, you don't get much better than Donnell. In comparison, the press box only had Notre Dame bound Leonard Gordon with one pass break up and one tackle.

Biggest Miss? Sean O'Brien

Many will point to Colorado signee and Tates Creek HS product Quintin Borders as the biggest miss of the 2006 recruiting year. After making the trek to Chattanooga, I believe he has company.

Sean O'Brien of Dunbar was one of three finalist for the kicker scholarship at the University of Kentucky this past recruiting year and after the Tennessee-Kentucky all-star game, believe he could have been over-looked.

During pre-game warmups, O'Brien was kicking consistent 52 yarders, over the goal posts and into the parking lot that resided just on top of a wall that was 15 yards behind UT-Chattonooga's stadium.

The 6-foot, 195 pounder also laced a 73 yard punt from his own endzone in Friday's game.

O'Brien, who was also passed on by Purdue, who chose instead to take St. Xavier's Tim Dougherty, will kick for Murray State next year. Needless to say, Tennessee product and UK signee Lones Seiber will have some big shoes to fill when he enrolls this fall. O'Brien's kicking show was by far the most impressive I've ever witnessed.


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