Layton: Ukwu has always been a Wildcat fan

The time period near signing day is often hectic and filled with surprises. Signing day 2008 held its own surprises including a great surprise for the Kentucky staff. In the last few days before National Signing Day the Cats were to land a commitment from Collins Ukwu, from La Vergne High School in La Vergne, TN. The former Middle Tennessee commitment would sign with the Cats.

KSR had a chance to catch up with the last of Kentucky's football commitments for the class of 2008, Collins Ukwu of La Vergne High School in La Vergne, TN.

Ukwu spoke of his decision and his excitement in joining the Kentucky program. The name Ukwu is not only unique, because his name came up in Cats recruiting late, but also because of his Nigerian heritage. The parents of Collins Ukwu are native Nigerians who moved to the United States twenty-one years ago.

"My parents are very excited." Collins said of his signing with Kentucky.

Collins is very excited about signing with Kentucky, "It feels great. I am just excited and ready to get after it."

When asked how the situation to switch his commitment from MTSU to Kentucky came about Collins said, "When Coach Phillips called me the first thing he asked me was do you want to be a Wildcat?"

That question really left an impression on a very excited Ukwu.

"Just knowing that he called me and he was interested in me really helped me with my decision. I've always been a Kentucky Wildcat fan and that was a big part too."

Collins projects to be a defensive end for the Wildcats in the future. He has a very lean frame, but is well equipped with speed on the edge. We spoke with his coach, Will Hester, to find out more about his playing abilities. "He's 6'5 220 pounds he's pretty long and lean, that's also a strength of his," said Hester, "It contributes to his natural speed."

La Vergne High's Hester thinks highly of Ukwu's work ethic and dedication. Hester said, "He is a great practice player. Whether he is competing to be on the field on Saturdays or not right away, he will contribute. On the practice field he wants to practice every day and wants to go to work."

Collins is a very humble player, but he has very lofty goals for his career at Kentucky. Collins told us about his personal goals, "My goal is to be the best defensive end to come out of Kentucky."

He seems very excited about the program and its growing success. When asked why he chose Kentucky he responded, "It's on the rise with three state bowl games and already beat Florida State. I have been going through the recruiting class and there are a lot of good commitments."

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