VAUGHT: "Eyes" on Durham

Rockcastle County offensive lineman Brad Durham knows he will have "thousands of eyes" on him Friday night when he plays against Tennessee in the annual all-star game because of his recruitment ordeal.

Durham verbally committed to Louisville only to have his scholarship offer withdrawn by then Louisville coach Bobby Petrino, who is now with the Atlanta Falcons. Durham eventually signed with Kentucky.

"It took a while for me to get over it, but at the time it happened I was focusing on my high school state playoffs. I just tried to put the whole Louisville thing behind me," Durham said.

"After I saw the facilities at Kentucky again, met all the coaches and signed with Kentucky, it just hit me that I needed to be here in the first place. Somehow I missed that when I looked at UK the first time, but I am glad to be here now." He knows his high school coach, Tom Larkey, feels the same way, especially after Larkey blasted Petrino for withdrawing his offer.

"Coach Larkey is a Big Blue fan. He was going to support me either way, but he is real happy I am in blue now," Durham said.

Durham doesn't get asked about the situation as often now as he did for a few months after it happened. "I just tell anyone who asks that who cares about what happened in the past. Some people just want to drag it on, but it doesn't bother me."

Or does it?

"I can't wait for the third week in the season when we play Louisville. That is on my mind. But I am just here this week to get ready for the season," Durham said.

He once dreamed of playing for Tennessee. Now he dreams of ending his prep career by helping Kentucky beat Tennessee for the fifth time in seven years.

"That would be great. It would sum up my whole high school career in style to beat them," Durham, who has raised his weight from 315 to 320 pounds by working out three to four hours per day five days a week in the offseason, said. "We have a lot of big bodies out here. We have a lot of speed. Put all that size and strength together and we have a good team."

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