GIDEL: Freshmen of the Year Candidates

Nearly everyone has penciled in Fort Campbell (Ky.) native Micah Johnson as the most valuable freshmen addition, already.

However, lost in the constant praise for Johnson, is the reality that the linebacking corp is already stacked with talent.

While Johnson isn't a redshirt candidate, he probably won't be taking over anyone's starting spot, immediately.

A couple of freshmen, however, can make a run at starting spots. Here are five possible immediate impact TRUE freshmen, that could significantly change UK's season.

  • 1. EJ Adams: Surprise, Surprise. Despite being out of action in spring practice after grayshirting in 2005 because of an injury sustained while in the weight room, the Suwanee (Ga.) native enrolled in January as a member of the freshmen class of 2006. So, what's so great about Adams? Athleticism. The 5-foot-10, 185 pound cornerback's talents were so good, UK secondary coach Steve Brown admitted that had Adams enrolled in the fall of 2005, EJ would have played and possibly started over David Jones. With a depleted secondary desperate for experience, Adams should play a very large part in putting a dent in the depth chart.

  • 2. Terrence Jones: According to Joker Phillips, the wide receiver position is wide open to freshmen at this point and he expects the Wildcat receiving corp to feature at least three impact newcomers. Jones at 6-foot-2, 170 is arguably the fastest of the incoming receivers and laterally - could be the fastest receiver at Kentucky. His biggest weakness is his catching ability and how well he'll be able to play over the middle. If Jones adapts quick and proves he can take a 'hit,' he'll be a star.

  • 3. Lones Seiber: An easy choice. Baring a miracle, he'll handle the kicking duties for an SEC program as a true freshmen. Quite an accomplishment for anyone.

  • 4. Corey Peters: Although I'm not as high on the Central HS product after watching him at the Kentucky-Tennessee All-Star game, the 6-foot-4, 295 pound defensive tackle could arguably be the most physically ready to play out of the incoming freshmen. With the emergence of Myron Pryor and the return of Lamar Mills and Ricky Abren, the cream rises to the top for the defensive tackle group. Outside of the top 2, a great drop-off occurs and one in which Peters could see great dividends.

  • 5. Ricky Lumpkin: Same can be said for Peters, Lumpkin can see immediate playing time on the defensive front in some form, depending on the status of the redshirt freshmen and the recovery of some of the nagging injuries on the front 4. Lumpkin was a force in high school, but is still relatively raw and undisciplined in his pursuit off the outside. Playing inside might be his best bet and that may mean he'll have to redshirt.


    Paul Warford: Again, we'll go to the cornerback position, an area that will need some help now that Bo Smith is gone. Warford is a former speed running back from Richmond (Ky.), that has already added weight. He's a quick learner and a strong student that exhibits a very strong work ethic. The expectations for him may not be as high as the other incoming in-state stars, but the 5-foot-10, 190 pounder has a chip on his shoulder and will do and say all the right things during his stay at Kentucky. I would be very surprised if he doesn't get a shot sooner rather than later.

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