WR Dicky Lyons

2007 Statistics

Coach: Rich Brooks
25-35, 5 years
2007 Record: 8-5
at Arkansas WON 42-29
FAU WON 45-17
at South Carolina LOST 23-38
LSU WON 43-37 (3OT)
at Vanderbilt WON 27-20
at Georgia LOST 13-24
Florida State WON 35-28


2007 Final Rankings
AP-28, Coaches-30, BCS-UR

2008 Outlook

The five-year grade head coach Rich Brooks gets after leading his Kentucky squads to two consecutive eight-win seasons is good (maybe a B-). Overall - yeah or nay - Brooks is a ‘thumbs up’ for bringing the school to its greatest heights since the 18 wins earned from 1976-77. With the recent woes surrounding the roundball program, the focus on sports in Lexington has naturally been shifting to the improvements on the gridiron. A third consecutive bowl win would mark a first in this school's history, but more work is still needed, especially on the defensive side, even though the college football world will be focusing on the offense and who replaces saviors André Woodson and Rafael Little.

Offensive coordinator Joker Phillips is locked in (contractually) as the next head man once Brooks decides to end his tenure. The implications are that Phillips will see more strategy and personnel decisions flow his way. This becomes a truly telling year, for the new QBs are ready but not polished, and Phillips' ability to get consistent results after Woodson provided 75 TDs (71 passing, four running) and only 18 INTs over the past two campaigns has evaporated. No matter how good Hartline and Pulley may become this year, these two providing a 4:1 TD:INT ratio isn't likely. But all they have to do is not make too many mistakes, for with the stacked backfield (even without Dixon), this offense can be just as consistent by employing a run-first approach and bringing the QBs to maturity slowly this way. The receivers were not up to snuff yet this spring; Phillips has a few areas he needs to orchestrate if he is to have a viable passing attack that can balance the offense, and therefore make it as potent as it was under Woodson's command. The offense is what got the recent eight-win seasons to occur, so we' won't be able to tell whether Phillips will be a wise choice to commit to as Brook's successor until this year's offense unfolds.

The noticeable improvements on defense last year came mostly within the aspects of pass defense. The good news is that only one member of the secondary is lost, and many on the two-deep back there look like they will assuredly improve. The biggest challenge will be shoring up the Wildcat run stopping troubles, and for three years, this failed essential has been why UK can't go farther. Big, fast LBs will help this plight, and interchangeable linemen mean the Wildcat’s stunts, shifts and other confusion tactics can really have some impact. Second-year coordinator Steve Brown will be measured by his ability to improve his front seven's results, and in the SEC, judgments will be forthright in telling of Brown's progress. As a DB guy, Brown has his work cut out. How long will they give him to bring the run defense numbers down? With corners who can be left on islands, expect the front seven to put mighty effort into hole plugging with improved results.

The defense gets a real test right away going into Louisville to face offensive innovator Steve Kragthorpe's zany spread schemes. Once Brooks gets the team's barometer readings in late August, he can use the next month of patsies to prepare for the trip to Tuscaloosa in the first week of October. Those 33 days should allow for the necessary tweaks; ramping up like this is ideal for breaking in new QBs, RBs, WRs et al. Realistically, breaking even in the super-tough SEC is a worthwhile goal, especially with Florida, Georgia and Tennessee looking poised to make serious BCS runs. Heck, just beating Florida or Tennessee would be a huge change and reason to celebrate (they haven't beaten the Gators since 1986's 10-3 home win; it's been since a 1985 trip to Knoxville that the Wildcats came out on top of the Vols 17-12). Arkansas is revamping, and with Mississippi State a revenge game and Vandy at home, Brooks's boys only have to find one 'upset' to earn at least a 4-4 SEC mark. That means shooting for 10 wins isn't such an unrealistic aim, either, but even bowl eligibility will be something not to take for granted.

Until this set of Wildcats shows the same prowl as the last two packs, assuring that this team can even hit .500 will be a stretch. But you can see that we have them in the top 40 coming into the season, and that means we do think they can achieve their incremental goals and probably get back into the top 25 by October. Last year was the first time Kentucky has ever been in the BCS rankings (No.7) and the first time they've ventured into the AP top 10 since finishing No.6 in 1977, their best ranking ever (though the 1950 season is arguably the greatest season ever, with Bear Bryant's 11-1 team winning the school's first of only two SEC titles and breaking Oklahoma's 33-game win streak - the seventh-longest in FBS history - in the Sugar Bowl by winning 13-7 over that year's eventual national champion Sooners). Keeping the '07 momentum going cannot be derailed if Louisville beats them in the first game.

For a program that always seems to be looking up at its East division rivals, riding last year's emotional wave might be the only way to secure enough wins to keep the three-consecutive win bowl dream alive. Always traveling a tough road, don't be surprised when the Wildcats upset one of those tough division mates and their path toward a BCS birth. Hopefully, it's Florida and/or Tennessee.

Projected 2008 record: 6-6
CB Trevard Lindley
QB - 3.5 DL - 3.5
RB - 3.5 LB - 3.5
WR - 3 DB - 4
OL - 2.5 ..
2007 Statistical Rankings
Total Off:
Sacks Allow:
Total Def:

Passing: Mike Hartline, 6-4-1, 34 yds., 0 TD

Rushing: Derrick Locke, 94 att., 521 yds., 5 TD

Receiving: Dicky Lyons, 56 rec., 655 yds., 7 TD

Scoring: Lones Seiber, 16-25 FG, 51-54 PAT, 99 pts.

Punting: Tim Masthay, 50 punts, 39.8 avg.

Kicking: Lones Seiber, 16-25 FG, 51-54 PAT, 99 pts.

Tackles: Trevard Lindley, 66 tot., 50 solo

Sacks: Jeremy Jarmon, 9 sacks

Interceptions: Trevard Lindley, 3 for 33 yds.

Kickoff returns: Dicky Lyons, 15 ret., 22.1 avg., 0 TD

Punt returns: DeMoreo Ford, 8 ret., 6.2 avg., 0 TD


OFFENSE: Andre' Woodson-QB, Rafael Little-TB, Keenan Burton-WR, Steve Johnson-WR, Jacob Tamme-TE, Eric Scott-C, Jason Leger-OG, Curtis Pulley-QB (dismissed)
DEFENSE: Dominic Lewis-DE, Wesley Woodyard-WLB, Roger Williams-SS, Paul Warford-CB

Only a fool would think that losing André Woodson won't mean a step back in production, especially when coupled with Rafael Little's 1,000-yard, 40+-catch contributions that won't be available either. Traditionally, Kentucky falls off after a few good years, but we see they have the talent to stay right where they are as a worthwhile challenger for their conference half. Fourth-year coordinator Joe Phillips has proven what he brings in terms of organization and motivation, and candidates exist to replace Woodson and Little.

The best hurler available is Mike Hartline, a 6'6 sophomore who has a bit of real game experience but much more eagerness to learn on the job. Not as good at running the rock as junior Curtis Pulley, Hartline ran the 300-meter hurdles well enough to make the state finals as a high school senior (also in high jump and 4x400), so it's really only his first few steps that need to be faster for Hartline to be solid in all phases. "Mr. Football" in 2004, Hopkinsville’s' finest (Pulley) has those lightning quick first few steps, and he can throw it with zip already. He just has a few accuracy issues, but Pulley, like his competitor, is well-rounded enough so that the play calls don't have to change when either is inserted. We say this since no one clearly won the job in spring. Often, that's a bad sign, but they each had huge spring games so comparable that differentiating their performances is nearly impossible, hence the first-team designation for Pulley but the 1A status of Hartline. UPDATE: QB Curtis Pulley has been dismissed from the team for off-the-field issues.

That QB running dimension will be used more than planned since Tony Dixon went down this spring with an MCL strain that has his status unknown at this juncture. Banks back and healthy would be nice, but not necessary for the RB unit to function. One guy who proved his impact already is Derrick Locke. Locke came in for Little when he was injured and did great. This Wildcat track star had the best prep long jump in the nation two years ago (25' 4 3/4"), a testimonial to his athletic abilities on the field. Locke and state 100-yard champ Alfonso Smith are the svelte, super quicksters sure to battle for carries until Kentucky is in the endzone. Smith is an ex-DB who looks like the best candidate to replace Little's production in the flat, though, Locke also has open field talents just awaiting their chances (had a huge impact late in the LSU win). The guy everyone was talking about this spring was Moncell Allen, their 'bowling ball' who was limited last year (wrist) but who killed this spring. Three and then four guys were forced to get all over Allen to bring him down - everyone who tries to tackle him says the same kinds of things about how you just can't grab his legs since they are so short and powerfully thick. These three will surely replace the yards of Little, but his abilities when split out wide have yet to be restocked. John Conner walked on here instead of taking a scholarship from a smaller school, and with four TDs in his 13 touches last year, coach Brooks is lucky Conner chose this path. A more pure fullback, Grinter is no slouch, either, using athleticism to achieve his assignments as much as pure bullying.

With the backfield grabbing all of the headlines this off-season, we must point out that replacing three of the top four Wildcat snarlers will probably be the toughest task next to assuring QB consistency. Metairie (LA) native Dicky Lyons, Jr. has continued his father's legacy with great prejudice. But this has included some leadership issues this spring, and "Joker" (Phillip's nickname) called him out for the corps having maturity issue under his command. Demareo Ford wants to prove he is more than the underneath outlet he was asked to be last year, but a torn patella this spring required surgery and means Ford's return at full strength is not assured. Ford leads by example and his return will go a long way toward the WRs overcoming their issues. Kyrus Lanxter has some size for better downfield blocking, but he is also going to stretch the field with his speed and score due to his moves. Anthony Mosely might be the fastest of this bunch, but like Lanxter, coaches need to see more from both if there is going to be a true two-deep of potential starters. One guy needing replacing is TE Tamme - T.C. Drake was never a major downfield weapon in prep, and though Ross Bogue has soft hands, neither has Tamme's speed, and the two juniors combined for one catch last year. Without the distraction of a consistent weapon coming off the line and forcing safeties to account for them, we see the lack of that one dimension an aspect that may bring the offense down a notch.

The OL had its ups and downs this spring as it replaces some inside pieces, but the tackles, who started every game together last year, are back to supply a solid foundation upon which to build. Senior Garry Williams needs to work on his footwork to prevent the excessive sacks (38), but his all-SEC nod gives promise that he will lock his side down eventually. Hulking Justin Jeffers displaced ex-DE/TE Zipp Duncan, but savvy Duncan seems adaptable and secure on the inside. Former JUCO All-American Jess Beets is just as smart as Duncan ("Scholar-Baller" at Sandleback C.C.), adapting to the FBS level of play quickly. The biggest offensive departure may be that of center Eric Scott, a highly mobile tough guy who was the heart of the line. Jorge Gonzales was adequate in his four games last year; he was coming back after a knee injury in the second week of 2006 hindered his development. Backup Jake Lanefski's development is coming nicely, for he has only been playing football for three years now, but he shows great potential to be solid nearly anywhere. The backups have a swagger about them, too, so injuries seem not to be a concern.

Woodson was never a running QB, just a gifted athlete, so if these new guys can bring a ground dimension to the QB slot, the RBs could "carry" the team to new offensive heights, and consistency can still be their calling card. Brooks says, "If we can throw it well - we don't have to throw it great, just well - then we can have a very, very good running game."


OT Garry Williams


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Mike Hartline-So (6-6, 201) Will Fidler-So (6-4, 216)
FB John Conner-Jr (5-11, 228) Maurice Grinter-Jr (6-3, 250)
TB Tony Dixon-Sr (5-9, 203) Derrick Locke-So (5-10, 180)
Alfonso Smith-Jr (6-1, 200)
WR DeMoreo Ford-Jr (5-10, 186) Kyrus Lanxter-So (6-3, 187)
WR Dicky Lyons-Sr (5-11, 190) Anthony Mosley-Fr (6-0, 170)
TE T.C. Drake-Jr (6-6, 235) Ross Bogue-Jr (6-5, 240)
OT Garry Williams-Sr (6-3, 300) James Alexander-Jr (6-5, 298)
OG Zipp Duncan-Jr (6-5, 285) Christian Johnson-Sr (6-4, 325)
C Jorge Gonzalez-Jr (6-3, 300) Jake Lanefski-Fr (6-4, 280)
OG Jess Beets-Sr (6-2, 285) Stuart Hines-Fr (6-4, 285)
OT Justin Jeffries-Jr (6-6, 310) Brad Durham-So (6-4, 310)
K Lones Seiber-Jr (5-9, 190) J.J. Housley-Sr (5-10, 186)



It has been 13 years since Kentucky allowed less than 300 points in a single season. Needless to say, stellar defense doesn't speak for the team's character. Former collegiate National Coach of the Year (Oregon, 1994) Brooks was an NFL-caliber defensive coordinator, yet the best season of his five years for points allowed (321) was 2003, his first, and last year was the worst (385). With only three major cogs gone - one starter from each unit - lessons learned have to pay off for the remaining Wildcats to improve on last year's embarrassments. Entering his second year as coordinator is Steve Brown, and we mean his second year EVER. The lessons Brown has learned would need to be the biggest difference if improvements are to be found. The biggest area that, if improved, would immediately mean more wins is the run stopping. The past three years have seen an average of 196, 184 and 191 yards, respectively, given up per game. Moreover, last year's 24 sacks don't speak of much pressure on opposing QBs.

Lots of individual talent up front hasn't gelled into a group that can defend its ground on any consistent basis. Then-sophomore Jeremy Jarmon earned a Second Team All-SEC nod with nine sacks and will constantly be found disrupting backfield proceedings. Jarmon, a Memphis product, has decent speed, revealing how he is basically a tackle (285lbs) who moves well enough to line up outside. That's the same M.O. for senior bookend Ventrell Jenkins - he started twice at DT last year, but will be found at end this time around. Jenkins is even a step faster than Jarmon, so we think Jenkins steps up big and becomes an upgrade. The backups are a bit raw, but Austin Moss did get some valuable time in as a reserve. The lack of depth outside could be a problem when injuries occur, like they did this spring when Jenkins and Jarmon both sat out due to minor problems, and the offenses ran roughshod at times without the two J's. Nii Adjei Oninku was lost for '07, but started in '06 and is back at full strength...hopefully. The two P's are insiders Pryor and Peters. Senior Myron Pryor had a solid 2006, but he seemed to miss a beat last year. Corey Peters finished seventh on the team in tackles, not bad for just a soph. The strides this former four-star prospect has made during the past off-season will go a long way toward improving the entire line's impact. Shane McCord is like Jenkins and Jarmon, he is a big pass rusher and he will penetrate the line better as a sophomore after being hurried along as a true freshman. Any signs of weakness in the middle will mean an opening for Ricky Lumpkin to possibly get his starting spot back. Lumpkin lost his ability to go 100% after a hip injury versus Kent State meant a backup role upon his return weeks later. Also versatile along the line, Lumpkin floored during his abbreviated seven-game season. More surgery this spring has him in doubt, but Lumpkin in the mix will signal better depth/stopping.' Improvements can occur to the DL and its overall impact, but it's a wait-and-see venture.

The LBs lose Woodyard, a First Team All-SEC member who had more than twice as many tackles (139) as the next best Wildcat defender (Trevand Lindley with 66). Braxton Kelley will become the senior leader; he ruled the middle last year, but will move into Woodyard's weakside spot and not skip a beat. Kelley shared the MLB spot with Micah Johnson, who now bumps up to start here. Johnson is an ex-DE (four-star recruit) with decent speed, so he is a good fit for bumping up in run support. Kelley also used to play up front, further helping that oh-so-needed dimension. Johnny Williams and Sam Maxwell shared the SAM spot, and their continued competition gives depth to the LB corps. Williams has the size to give UK three big LBs who can make it so there are essentially seven linemen on most plays.

The biggest improvement on this side of the ball last year had to be to the pass defense, where over 60 yards per game were gained from the prior year's 118th-ranked results. In pass defense, it all starts with the corners, and Kentucky has some good ones who are soon to be all-conference quality. Trevard Lindley and classmate Paul Warford started almost every game together last year (Warford missed two after breaking his collarbone against LSU). Lindley was a Freshman All-American with his size-speed combo, and Warford is even quicker and has a big upside not yet realized. After an emergency appendectomy, Huddy's David Jones returned to play nickel effectively, but this spring he has proved he's back to full speed as one of the fastest Wildcats on the roster. "I'm very encouraged by the secondary," Brooks said just before the spring scrimmage. "The defense, coverage-wise, is better than it's ever been, certainly at this stage of the upcoming season." More veterans behind these three mean numbers get even better for 2008. The safeties are missing Williams, but with Ashton Cobb registering more tackles and INTs than Williams, Cobb stepping into the starting role looks like another upgrade. Marcus McClinton had a few injury breaks last year, and his career has been spotty. But the perennial starter is back, and Calvin Harrison - who filled in for McClinton to notch the first starts of his collegiate career - will definitely improve seeing how he is the heir apparent who will be rotated in early and often. Behind these three, the depth drops off in regards to experience, but hungry applicants will learn the ropes from these veterans. The secondary, like the other units, is poised to come together nicely. UPDATE: CB Paul Warford has been ruled ineligible for the 2008 season.

DC Brown could really look like a genius due to all of his starters (six seniors and five juniors) and most of his backups being upperclassmen. Leaders will be everywhere. Note the percentage of third-downs UK allows (it was 45% last year) to see if improvements are taking hold enough to translate into real difference-making results.


DE Jeremy Jarmon


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Jeremy Jarmon-Jr (6-3, 285) Josh Minton-So (6-3, 250)
DT Corey Peters-Jr (6-3, 290) Ricky Lumpkin-So (6-4, 289)
DT Myron Pryor-Sr (6-1, 310) Shane McCord-So (6-3, 271)
DE Ventrell Jenkins-Sr (6-2, 285) Austin Moss-Jr (6-0, 250)
SLB Johnny Williams-Sr (6-3, 240) Sam Maxwell-Jr (6-3, 225)
MLB Micah Johnson-Jr (6-2, 255) Mikhail Mabry-Jr (6-2, 235)
WLB Braxton Kelley-Sr (6-0, 226) Michael Schwindel-Jr (6-2, 220)
CB Trevard Lindley-Jr (6-0, 175) ..
CB David Jones-Sr (5-10, 185) E.J. Adams-Jr (6-0, 190)
Shomari Moore-Sr (5-9, 185)
SS Ashton Cobb-Jr (6-0, 205) Greg Wilson-Fr (6-2, 195)
FS Marcus McClinton-Sr (6-1, 210) Calvin Harrison-Jr (6-1, 200)
P Tim Masthay-Sr (6-2, 200) Ryan Tydlacka-Fr (6-1, 195)




Senior Tim Masthay provides control to his punts, and so the 82nd-ranked net results seem pedestrian...that is, until you note how the longest runback was merely 16 yards and how only 16 out of 51 tries were even returnable. Masthay also provided 23 touchbacks out of his 83 kickoffs. Coach Brooks can live with those numbers. Knoxville native Lones Seiber is another story - he was merely 11-for-20 from 30 yards and beyond, and the 34-yard try that missed in the second overtime stanza versus the Vols cost them that win. J.J. Housley looks good if Seiber waivers, but will the staff actually pull that trigger, one they failed to try last year after Seiber had already proven his shakiness? Dicky Lyons, Jr. will get his chances in the open field as he earns both return nods. A make-or-break-type like Lyons should provide that return TD that eluded them last year (after they were nationally ranked No1 in PRs and No.10 in KRs in '06).