A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

From the halftime Super Bowl commercial, UK’s early enrollees adopt mantra: Why not?


 

Kentucky’s seven early enrolles in the class of 2014—five high schoolers and two junior college transfers—were featured in the last few seconds of the commercial that played in Lexington at halftime of the Super Bowl on Sunday.
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That commercial was tagged with the slogan that echoed throughout the Nutter Training Facility on Wednesday’s Signing Day: Why not?

 

Each of the seven early enrolees said it in interviews Wednesday, wondering aloud why the general public is so surprised to hear that the Wildcats just signed perhaps its best recruiting class, at least in terms of day-of-signing rankings, in school history.

 

Below, interviews with all seven early enrolles are linked.

 

Drew Barker, quarterback“I would come on visits and the whole staff knew me. It was just a real family vibe. Other schools, it would just be like your offensive coordinator, head coach, position coach recruiting you. Here everybody knew you by name. It was just kind of weird.”

 

Dorian Hendrix, linebacker: “There’s no type of animosity against us new guys coming in at all. They all — they’re accepting us and they’re excited about us and they’re helping us as much as possible. So that’s really important that they want to win and they’re hungry for success just as much as we are.”

 

Mikel Horton, running back“Why not be here? Why not go to the NFL? Why not win a national championship? It’s all dependent on us. It’s not that—nobody’s holding us back from doing it. It’s all mental. We’re going to definitely put in that work for the fans of Kentucky and for ourselves and become something special that no one’s seen here.”

 

C.J. Johnson, defensive tackle (junior college)“When I was at my last school, I lost about 30 pounds. I had to work on my track skills a little bit. I’m thinking I might come out and run a 4.2. I’ve got great hand movements. I got a little Jackie Chan in there. I’m just gonna do what I can.”

 

Thaddeus Snodgrass, wide receiver: “I didn’t know it was going to be this hard, but I feel like around the team everybody is here to win. Everybody is hungry to win and we’re going to win with everybody’s attitude the way it is now.”

 

A.J. Stamps, cornerback (junior college)“I felt like I could trust the coaches and what they were saying was honest. They just kept it real or whatever, and they just held their word when I got here.”

 

T.V. Williams, wide receiver“I just keep eating, keep eating, keep eating without losing my speed. It was good because we go over to the indoor facility, and they run us, and they run us, and they run us. I thought coming out of high school, for me to gain weight, I wouldn’t be able to run as much. But I’m running more than I’ve ever ran in my life, and I’m still putting on weight, and I’m still getting faster, and I’m still getting stronger. It’s a good feeling.”

 

Read bios on all 28 UK signees at The Beat.


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