Cats get in Turkey Day workout; Fidler forgoes senior season

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky football team practiced for two hours Thursday morning in the Nutter Field House before taking a break for Thanksgiving.

“It was a good practice,” Coach Rich Brooks said. “I think we’re fairly focused and now we get a break and hope they have an enjoyable ‘Turkey Day’ and come back safely.

“I’m thankful that our troops provide us an opportunity to live in a free country and (seek) our pursuits,” Brooks continued. “They make a lot of sacrifices for the rest of us that are able to lead a normal life.”

Brooks reported that offensive tackle Justin Jeffries was unable to go through the entire practice, but hopefully Jeffries’ sprained ankle will heal enough in the next two days for him to be available against Tennessee on Saturday. Tight end T.C. Drake, who has missed the last two games with a groin strain, got some practice time and hopes to have some availability on game day. Linebacker Ronnie Sneed (sprained shoulder, shin contusion) sat out Thursday and remains doubtful to play in the game.

Brooks also commented on junior quarterback Will Fidler, who has decided to participate in Senior Day on Saturday and give up his final season of eligibility. Fidler is set to graduate in May of 2010.

“He’s done a lot for this program,” Brooks said. “We’d have never won the Auburn game without him. He’s a true team player. A lot of people get their names written up for certain things, but what happens in practice, (there are) guys that do it every day and are out here trying to make this team better and Will Fidler has been one of those guys. I’m so very proud of what he’s done how he’s handled himself since he’s been here.”

The Wildcats had a team Thanksgiving dinner on Wednesday night. They will be off for the remainder of Thursday and Friday morning before returning to campus Friday afternoon to resume preparations for the Tennessee game.

Kentucky plays host to Tennessee on Saturday at 7 p.m. The game will be televised by ESPNU.

27 Recognized on Senior Day: A total of 27 Wildcats will be recognized in Senior Day ceremonies before Saturday’s game.

“I would like to see our fans in there early enough to honor this senior class,” Coach Rich Brooks said. “I know that the game-day activities are part of the experience and part of the fun in the parking lot, but hopefully they can do that all day long and get in there early enough to honor this senior class.”

Fans are encouraged to be in their seats by 6:30 p.m. in order to see the event. Here’s a list of the players who will be honored.

*Stephen Ball, FB, Jr., Brentwood, Tenn.

Ross Bogue, TE, Sr., Suwanee, Ga.

*Trey Bowland, TB, Jr., Knoxville, Tenn.

Anthony Cecil, WR, Sr., Hodgenville, Ky.

+Chris Cessna, LB, Sr., London, Ky.

Ashton Cobb, FS, Sr., Aliquippa, Pa.

John Conner, FB, Sr., West Chester, Ohio

T.C. Drake, TE, Sr., Bardstown, Ky.

Zipp Duncan, OT, Sr., Magnolia, Ky.

*Daryl Faulkner, CB, Jr., Memphis, Tenn.

*Will Fidler, QB, Jr., Henderson, Ky.

Jorge Gonzalez, C, Sr., Tampa, Fla.

Maurice Grinter, TE, Sr., Louisville, Ky.

Calvin Harrison, SS, Sr., Columbia, S.C.

Justin Jeffries, OT, Sr., Louisville, Ky.

Christian Johnson, OT, Sr., Ft. Campbell, Ky.

Micah Johnson, LB, Sr., Ft. Campbell, Ky.

Trevard Lindley, CB, Sr., Hiram, Ga.

Dustin Luck, OG, Sr., Poole, Ky.

Mikhail Mabry, LB, Sr., Mililani, Hawaii

Sam Maxwell, LB, Sr., Hartwell, Ga.

A.J. Nance, LB, Sr., Knoxville, Tenn.

Corey Peters, DT, Sr., Louisville, Ky.

+Michael Schwindel, LB, Sr., Hawesville, Ky.

Lones Seiber, K, Sr., Knoxville, Tenn.

Alfonso Smith, TB, Sr., Louisville, Ky.

* indicates juniors who are graduating and giving up their final season of eligibility

+ indicates players who had careers shortened by injuries and are going through Senior Day

In addition, UK will honor the memory of linebacker Chris Mosby, who would have been a senior this season. Chris had committed to play for Kentucky in 2005, but passed away in an accident before arriving at UK.

This senior class has an impressive list of accomplishments, many of them unprecedented in the history of Kentucky football:

n Four consecutive winning seasons

n At least seven wins in four consecutive seasons, first time since 1909-12

n Three straight bowl championships, first time ever

n Wins over two top-10 ranked opponents

n 18 straight non-conference wins, longest streak in school history

n 12 wins coming from behind in the fourth quarter

Dicky Lyons Jr. Book Signing on Friday: Dicky Lyons Jr. will have a book signing on Fri. Nov. 29 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Cat Fan Attic on 1975 Harrodsburg Road in Lexington.

Lyons will be autographing copies of the book “True Blue,” written by Leslie Lyons about the Kentucky football careers of Dicky Lyons Sr. and Jr.

Tennessee Game Ticket Also Good for Women’s Basketball: Fans with a ticket to the Kentucky-Tennessee football game on Saturday can get free admission to that day’s women’s basketball game vs. McNeese State, which tips off at 1 p.m. in Memorial Coliseum.

Fans must show their football game ticket in order to get the free general admission to the basketball game, while supplies last.

“Cat Walk” Set for 4:45 p.m.: Fans wishing to participate in the “Cat Walk,” cheering the Wildcats when they enter Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday, should be at Gate 1 of the stadium at 4:45 p.m.