A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky by Heart: Recruiting ‘rockstar’ David Armstrong paid his dues on road to success

By Steve Flairty KyForward columnist No one should ever question David Armstrong, former Western Kentucky Hilltopper quarterback, UK coaching staff member, and now a football recruiting scout’s willingness to pay his dues—and to be patient–in order to find eventual lasting success. That practice started as a youngster growing up in his Brentwood neighborhood in Nashville, where David’s...

Five-star defensive tackle Matt Elam
chooses Kentucky football over Alabama

Elizabethtown’s Matt Elam, a five-star defensive tackle, chose Kentucky over Alabama on Thursday. (Photo by James Pennington)   ELIZABETHTOWN — Matt Elam, a five-star defensive tackle from Elizabethtown, further confirmed Kentucky’s emergence in the national football recruiting scene. Elam sat at a table on the stage at John Hardin High School’s Performing Arts Center and announced...

Five-star defensive tackle Matt Elam chooses Kentucky football over Alabama

Elizabethtown’s Matt Elam, a five-star defensive tackle, chose Kentucky over Alabama on Thursday. (Photo by James Pennington)   ELIZABETHTOWN — Matt Elam, a five-star defensive tackle from Elizabethtown, further confirmed Kentucky’s emergence in the national football recruiting scene. Elam sat at a table on the stage at John Hardin High School’s Performing Arts Center and announced...

Kentucky RB Dyshawn Mobley to transfer following promising end to sophomore season

Kentucky sophomore running back Dyshawn Mobley will transfer after back-to-back impressive games to end the 2013 season, UK spokesperson Evan Crane confirmed Friday afternoon. [widgets_on_pages id=”James”]   Mobley ran for 92 yards—including a 69-yard touchown—against Georgia and 143 yards on 17 carries in the season finale against Tennessee. His season total was 300 yards, 78.3...

Senior DTs Mister Cobble and Donte Rumph: On two brothers’ final game together at UK

Mister Cobble (left, No. 97) and Donte Rumph (right, No. 99) played their final game as defensive tackles together at Kentucky on Saturday. (Photo by Jon Hale)   Rarely during their playing careers at Kentucky did anyone see Donte Rumph and Mister Cobble without one standing next to the other, and that’s no mistake. Yes, they both play defensive tackle and line up next to each other every down...

Senior DTs Mister Cobble and Donte Rumph: On two brothers' final game together at UK

Mister Cobble (left, No. 97) and Donte Rumph (right, No. 99) played their final game as defensive tackles together at Kentucky on Saturday. (Photo by Jon Hale)   Rarely during their playing careers at Kentucky did anyone see Donte Rumph and Mister Cobble without one standing next to the other, and that’s no mistake. Yes, they both play defensive tackle and line up next to each other every down...

Chance to end Florida losing streak, motivates players, but Cats focused on getting better

Maxwell Smith throws a pass in Florida’s last trip to Commonwealth Stadium. (KyForward File photo by Mark Boxley)   For all the shortcomings of the Joker Phillips Era, the former UK head coach was successful in ending some of the historic losing streaks that have plagued the program.   [widgets_on_pages id=”Jon”] The Cats ended a 17-game losing streak to Steve Spurrier with...

Wildcats prepared to face former coach when Joker Phillips returns with Florida Saturday

When UK players take the Commonwealth Stadium field Saturday versus Florida, they will likely see a familiar face wearing Gator orange.   [widgets_on_pages id=”Jon”] Former UK head coach Joker Phillips now serves as the wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator for Florida head coach Will Muschamp.   On Saturday he returns to Commonwealth Stadium for the first time since...

Mark Stoops feels prepared for first game
as a head coach before UK debut vs. WKU

As the only member of the UK football coaching staff with head coaching experience, special teams coordinator Bradley Dale Peveto has an idea about how Mark Stoops will feel when he runs out of the tunnel for his first game as the UK head coach.   [widgets_on_pages id=”Jon”] It did not take long for Peveto to correct some of his misconceptions about being a head coach when he got his...

Mark Stoops feels prepared for first game as a head coach before UK debut vs. WKU

As the only member of the UK football coaching staff with head coaching experience, special teams coordinator Bradley Dale Peveto has an idea about how Mark Stoops will feel when he runs out of the tunnel for his first game as the UK head coach.   [widgets_on_pages id=”Jon”] It did not take long for Peveto to correct some of his misconceptions about being a head coach when he got his...

Senior Avery Williamson OK with being considered face of the first Stoops Era team

Avery Williamson hits the quarterback versus Mississippi State as a junior. (File photo by Jon Hale)   On a team full of question marks, new UK football head coach Mark Stoops knows he has at least one player he can count on:   Senior linebacker Avery Williamson.   [widgets_on_pages id=”Jon”] “He’s a guy that he’s a cut above right now as far as leadership,”...

Wesley Eversole: Reasons for optimism aplenty as Stoops prepares for spring practice

On Monday March 18, the UK football team will begin its first spring practice under new head coach Mark Stoops.   Stoops, who had spent the last three season as defensive coordinator at Florida State, was hired on Nov. 27 to replace Joker Phillips, who was fired after going 13-24 in three seasons, including 2-10 last year. Like most new coaching hires, Stoops’ hiring seems to have renewed optimism...

New UK coaches hope recruits will push for playing time, but see talent in current Cats

Anthony Kendrick catches a touchdown in the 2012 spring game. (Photo by Jon Hale)   The new UK football coaching staff has had little time to do anything but recruit the next wave of Wildcats in the months since arriving in Lexington, but they have gotten a glimpse at the current talent on the roster.   [widgets_on_pages id=”Jon”] In order for the coaches to establish a firm sense...

UK quarterback recruit Reese Phillips enrolls in classes, will participate in spring practice

Staff report   The first high school signee of the Mark Stoops Era of UK football is on campus.   Quarterback Reese Phillips, who graduated from Signal Mountain High School in Tennessee a semester early, has enrolled in classes at UK for the spring semester, Stoops announced Wednesday.   “We’re excited about Reese getting started with us,” Stoops said in a news release....

Joker Phillips named wide receivers coach at Florida, one month after being fired by UK

Staff report   One day after UK introduced its new football coach, the previous Wildcat head coach has found a new job.   Former UK coach and player Joker Phillips has joined Will Muschamp’s staff at Florida as the wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator, the school announced Monday.   Joker Phillips. (Photo by Jon Hale) “I’m thrilled to become part of the Gator...

Mitch Barnhart: Search for next UK football coach is under way, no offers have been made

Mitch Barnhart, left, leaves the field following UK's loss to Tennessee. (Photo by Jon Hale)   KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The tenure of one UK football coach ended Saturday, but who will follow him to lead the Wildcats remains a question mark.   [widgets_on_pages id=”Jon”] In his first public remarks to the media since firing Joker Phillips on Nov. 4, UK Athletics Director Mitch...

Wildcats close out season, Joker Phillips era with 37-17 loss to Tennessee in 2012 finale

Joker Phillips addresses the media after his final game as UK head coach. (Photo by Jon Hale)   KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Joker Phillips era of UK football ended with a whimper Saturday as a first-half shootout turned into a 37-17 blowout loss to Tennessee in the 2012 season finale.   [widgets_on_pages id=”Jon”] Phillips, who was relieved of his duties on Nov. 4 but elected...

With football coaching search underway, a look at previous Mitch Barnhart hires at UK

Mitch Barnhart introduces Johan Cedergren as men's soccer coach in 2011. (File photo by Jon Hale)   Two weeks into the search for UK’s next football coach, there are plenty of questions about where the new coach will come from and what experience he might have.   [widgets_on_pages id=”Jon”] The man in charge of that decision is Mitch Barnhart, now in his 11th year as UK’s...

UK players know new staff, new system could lead to shake up in current roles, playing time

UK fans aren’t the only people wondering who will be the next Wildcat football coach.   [widgets_on_pages id=”Jon”] UK players are also currently in the dark about the program’s future.   “People come up and ask you questions about who the next coach is, and I want to say ‘I’m in the same boat as you,'” said junior defensive tackle Tristian...

Seniors carry Joker Phillips off the field as Cats close out home schedule with 34-3 win

Alvin Dupree records a sack in the second quarter. (Photo by Jon Hale)   After UK announced Joker Phillips would not return as the Wildcat head coach next season, several of his seniors asked him to coach the final two games of the 2012 season to help them end their careers.   [widgets_on_pages id=”Jon”] On Saturday, Phillips and those seniors added at least one more happy memory...