VAUGHT: Football important to LaGrange stars

LaGrange (Ga.) High School coach Steve Pardue says it's no surprise to him that three of his players — linebackers Wesley Woodyard and Braxton Kelley along with receiver DeMoreo Ford — all figure prominently in Kentucky's plans this football season.

"Not only are they all good players, but they are also all good kids and they each have great work ethics," said Pardue. "Football is important to all of them. They value winning. They want to do things the right way. They understand what it takes to be part of a winning program."

LaGrange High School annually sends players to major college programs. That makes it even more impressive when Pardue says LaGrange became "Wesley's team" in 2003. "Nobody thought we would win state that year, but we did and Wesley was the big reason," Pardue said. "He makes good decisions. Football is fun to him. He loves to play the game. He doesn't have a jealous bone in his body. He's all about the team. And he's having a great offseason at Kentucky. He's added a lot of muscle."

Kelley is coming off a knee injury suffered late last season, but Pardue says Kelley tells him there's no doubt he'll be full speed for UK's season opening game against Louisville. "I am not surprised by what he's done at all. He has a gift that he understands the game of football. You don't have to tell him things many times. He played end for us, but lot of our guys have made the transition to linebacker in college. I'm not surprised he did it because he works so hard. Right now his biggest problem might be wanting to do too much before that knee is fully healed," Pardue said.

Ford could give Kentucky a needed boost at receiver. "He has changed his body in the offseason. He looks really good. He's put on weight and muscle. Joker (Phillips) really likes what he has done," Pardue said. "He is the most physical receiver I have ever coached. He loves contact and also has really good ball skills. He is a great return guy, too. When he puts on the pads, he just gets better. He will dig out a linebacker and deliver a blow. He's a guy that will always be better in games than he is in practice because he loves the contact so much."

AllWildcats Top Stories