Phillips announces additions to Wildcat roster

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Terrell Combs, Josh Gibbs and Justin Henderson have enrolled in the University of Kentucky for the spring semester and have joined the football team, Coach Joker Phillips announced Wednesday.

Combs has transferred to UK from the University of Minnesota, whom he originally signed with in 2008. A multi-positional athlete who is returning home to Lexington, he will be able to practice with the Wildcats but must complete a full year of academic residency before reaching playing eligibility. He will have two years of eligibility remaining, the 2011 and 2012 seasons. He was a defensive end and tight end at UM.

Gibbs, a junior-college safety, is transferring to UK after two seasons at College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, Calif. He will begin practice in the spring and has two years of eligibility remaining.

Henderson, a defensive end from Bamberg, S.C., graduated in December from Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School and has joined the Wildcats. He will begin practice in the spring.

“We’re glad to have Terrell, Josh and Justin join our program and having them in spring practice will be a boost for their development,” Phillips said. “We’re excited to have Terrell back in Lexington. He is an outstanding athlete and it will be interesting to see which position is best suited for his talents.

“Obviously, as a junior-college transfer, we hope that Josh can contribute quickly. After losing Calvin Harrison and Ashton Cobb at the safety positions, he will have the opportunity to earn immediate playing time.

“We identified Justin early in the recruiting process as a defensive end with size and athletic ability. It will be an advantage for him to be here a semester early and get a head start on his collegiate career.”

Here is biographical information on the new Wildcats:

Terrell Combs, Defensive End/Tight End, 6-2, 271, So-Tr, Lexington, Ky. (Bryan Station/Minnesota) – Transferred to UK from the University of Minnesota … Signed with UM in 2008 … Played in three games as a reserve defensive end as a true freshman … Also practiced at tight end … Did not play during the 2009 season … May practice at UK immediately, but must complete a year of academic residency before becoming eligible in 2011 … A graduate of Bryan Station High School in Lexington … Versatile athlete saw action at linebacker and safety on defense and at wide receiver, running back, tight end and quarterback on offense … Honorable-mention all-state by the Louisville Courier-Journal as a senior … First-team all-city by the Lexington Herald-Leader … Caught 45 passes for 876 yards and 15 touchdowns … Had 1,197 all-purpose yards … Also punted, averaging more than 40 yards per kick … Coached by Dr. Oliver Lucas … Played in the Kentucky-Tennessee Border Bowl All-Star Game … Also played basketball at Bryan Station.

Josh Gibbs, Safety, 5-10, 190, Jr-JC, Long Beach, Calif. (Valencia/College of the Canyons) – Displayed great playing instincts during his two seasons at College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, Calif. … Beat out a returning starter during his freshman season … Totaled 45 tackles, three interceptions, two pass breakups and one fumble recovery during the Cougars’ undefeated 10-game regular season … Returned one of the pickoffs for a touchdown … Canyons went on to a 12-1 final record, reaching the championship game of the 2008 Southern California playoffs … Sophomore season featured three more interceptions, along with four pass breakups and 27 tackles … Coached by Garett Tujague (pronounced TOO-jay) … “Josh is a great player and has an uncanny ability to get to the football,” Tujague said. “He has the will to prepare and the pride to finish, which will help him succeed academically and athletically.” … Played his senior season of high-school football at Valencia HS … Actually played as an undersized defensive end at Valencia, earning all-conference honors and helping his team advance to the state playoffs … Coached by Larry Muir … Was a safety and a quarterback at Redondo Beach HS before moving to Valencia … Born in Germany, as both of his parents were in the United States Army … Brother of Darlron Spead, who played defensive back at Vanderbilt from 2006-08.

Justin Henderson, Defensive End, 6-3, 231, Fr-HS, Bamberg, S.C. (Bamberg-Ehrhardt) – The first verbal commitment of the 2010 recruiting class also became the first high-school signee of the class … Having graduated in December, enrolling in January gives him an extra semester to begin his strength development and on-field progress … First-team all-state as a senior by the High School Sports Report … Four-year starter at tight end for Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School ... On defense he started at outside linebacker as a sophomore, then moved to defensive end in his final two campaigns … Made 84 tackles as a senior, including seven quarterback sacks and 18 additional tackles for loss … Notched 67 tackles, featuring 10 sacks and 12 additional TFL his junior year … At tight end, he totaled 27 catches for 424 yards and three touchdowns over his final two seasons … Chosen for the all-area and all-region teams as a junior … BEHS went to the state playoffs each season, reaching the third round his sophomore and junior years … Head coach was Kevin Crosby … “Justin is a hard-working kid whose motor is non-stop,” said assistant coach Corey Crosby. “He’s a strong kid who won an area weightlifting championship.” … Played in the prestigious North Carolina-South Carolina All-Star Shrine Game following his senior season … One of the nation’s top-100 defensive ends by and the No. 45 weakside end as tabbed by … Also participated in wrestling, baseball and track in high school … Member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes … His father, Allen, played college football at Wofford.

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