Pulley decision looms large

The University of Kentucky Football team is now faced with a situation that is new to them. And that's making decisions on quality backup quarterbacks. For the first time in a long time, having backup quarterbacks, the decisions involve a lot of entities, players, families, and coaches. A decision on the future of Curtis Pulley looms large on the UK grid horizon.

The University of Kentucky Football team is now faced with a situation that is new to them. And that's making decisions on quality backup quarterbacks. For the first time in a long time, having backup quarterbacks, the decisions involve a lot of entities, players, families, and coaches.

Presently, one looming decision is the future of Curtis Pulley. He's been on a roller-coaster ride for the last several months. He had the job coming out of spring practice and by his own admission relaxed in the weeks following. No doubt, this was part of the maturing process and understanding the nuances of big time football. Andre Woodson went to work over the summer and fall practice and seized the job back and subsequently had a breakout year. So much so, that it would take an act of congress for him to loose the job.

Again, that raises another nuance of college football that the present day player doesn't address in his mind - that being transfers, academic suspensions or dismissals, other precipitated dismissals, and injury coming into play. One such famous example was in 1982. George Adams who was talking transfer was the 4th running back and went to No.1 in a matter of three weeks. Pete Venable from Somerset, Kentucky was No. 1 and got suspended – John Gay from Pittsburgh transferred to West Virginia because his dad thought he was the next Franco Harris – Lawrence "Choo Choo" Lee started the second game against Oklahoma University after Venable's suspension – Lee bruised his ribs in the first half of that game against Oklahoma and Adams started the second half, gained 80-yards and went on to become a first-round draft choice with the New York Giants.

UK hasn't loss a starting quarterback to season ending injury for, what seems like an eternity (slap my hands). But the reality is, it's a physical game.

Quarterback Randy Sanders said when coming here he thought they had a chance to be really good players at quarterback. "But to go out and throw the number touchdowns, keep the interceptions down and play like he did (Andre Woodson), I don't know whether I had envisioned that," Sanders said.

Pulley has been a valuable asset to the team this season in that he played some quarterback, played some receiver, and blocked some kicks (38-inch vertical leap) on special teams. How does Pulley feel about his roll with the team? "It gives me a chance to go out there and play," Pulley said. "Everybody wants to play and help the team to win."

He has maintained a steady progression in his passing skills. "I just made a comment the other day about how well he's throwing the football and managing the offense," coach Joker Phillips said.

The decision to be made after the season is whether to redshirt next season and put space between him and Woodson, then competing for the starting quarterback spot in 2008; or play more exclusively at receiver next season. Of course, the other option exercised by other SEC teams is, riding it out as the backup. Tee Martin sat behind Peyton Manning for four years at Tennessee started as a senior and won a National Championship. D. J. Shockley played behind David Greene at Georgia and started his senior year leading them to one of their best seasons ever.

Pulley said: "I will sit down with the coaches and my family after the season and determine what's best for me and this team to do. Being a quarterback is no big deal, I just want to get out there and play and help this team where ever. Is he happy here? "It's kind of up and down sometimes but I stick to and it's okay." Former head coach Hal Mumme once said, quarterbacks are born to transfer and as this program progresses, UK will be faces with more and more of that. Just look around in the SEC powers, i.e. Tennessee.


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