Wild Week for the Wildcats

By: Steve Moss
By: Steve Moss

The past week has proven to be pretty significant (to borrow a Rich Brooks buzz word) for the UK football team, with regard to the direction the program is headed, both short-term and for the future.

The past week has proven to be pretty significant (to borrow a Rich Brooks buzz word) for the UK football team, with regard to the direction the program is headed, both short-term and for the future.

First, Brooks decided he’d heard and seen enough, and gave enigmatic quarterback Curtis Pulley the boot.  Pulley was locked in a battle with Michael Hartline for the starting quarterback job.

Now, clearly, Hartline will be the starter against Louisville on Aug. 31, barring some unforseen injury or circumstance.

Hartline is a true drop back-style quarterback, in the mold of an Andre’ Woodson.  In my opinion, Hartline is better suited to be UK’s quarterback, given the past history of Brooks’ pro style offense.

It was also revealed last week that defensive back Paul Warford would not be attending school this year, due to eligibilty issues.  Warford was a starter at cornerback.  That likely means David Jones will move into that role.

Part-time starter Christian Johnson also is facing eligibilty issues.  The senior offensive guard is sidelined by a back injury.  This isn’t the first time Johnson has been in Brooks’ doghouse.

Freshman wide receiver Aaron Boyd will be lost for nearly two months, if he’s not redshirted.  Boyd has contracted mono and is being held out of practice.

Boyd likely would have been one of UK’s options at the depleted receiver position — Boyd was ranked one of the top wide outs in the country last year.

He may not be ready before the Alabama game, which means Boyd would lose valuable playing time against the Cats’ non-conference schedule.  Now, Brooks and Joke Phillips will be hard pressed to throw Boyd in against the wolves of the SEC. 

Which is too bad, because Boyd worked extremely hard during the off-season to get into better shape and learn the system.  I was on campus several times during the spring and summer and Boyd was at the UK practice fields working out with Keenan Burton, running routes and getting hands on instruction from the Rams’ receiver.

With Pulley’s departure, the Cats picked up one their most important verbal commitments in the Brooks’ Era.  Texas quarterback Ryan Mossakowski is rated a 4-star pro-style quarterback by Rivlas.com.  The 6-foot-4, 200 lb. signal caller is listed as one of the top 5 quarterbacks in the country, throwing for more than 3,000 yards with 19 touchdowns last season at Centennial High.

By contrast, Woodson was a top-10 quarterback, rated 4-stars by Rivals.com.

To read more about Mossakowski, go to ESPN’s evaluation.

Mossakowski becomes Brooks’ tenth verbal commitment for the 2009 season — all are nationally-ranked.

Those are the highlights… Stay tuned.

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