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 Draft Scout College Football Player News: Kentucky
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  09/18/21 - Will LevisrJr/2023, Kentucky, 6-2, 222 (DS#28 QB) + More +

  Will Levis overcame two interceptions to throw a fourth-quarter touchdown pass to Izayah Cummings, safety Tyrell Ajian returned an interception 95 yards with 7:40 remaining, and Kentucky rallied past Chattanooga 28-23 on Saturday. Considered overmatched in their first meeting against the Southeastern Conference school, the FCS Mocs (1-2) slowly turned a seven-point deficit into a 16-14 lead early in the fourth on Aaron Sears' 30-yard field goal.

The Wildcats (3-0) awoke to drive 77 yards for the go-ahead TD, helped by Levis' 21-yard run and a defensive pass interference penalty before the QB hit Cummings with a 31-yard TD pass with 10:18 left. Kentucky's TD was huge considering it had either turned it over or punted the six previous possessions. For a minute the Wildcats appeared on the brink of becoming this season's latest upset victim to an FCS school, a concern Levis sensed during Friday's practice. - Kentucky Football/AP College Football


(DS#28 QB) rJr/2023 QB Will LevisKentucky
News Source: Kentucky Football/AP College Football
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  09/14/21 - Chris Rodriguez Jr.rJr/2023, Kentucky, 5-11, 224 (DS#6 RB) + More +

  SEPT 13 SEC CO-OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Chris Rodriguez Jr., RB, Kentucky,...Had 27 rushes for 206 yards - both career highs - and also had two rushing touchdowns...Caught a five-yard touchdown pass, finishing the game with three total TDs...Became the eighth player in school history to rush for at least 200 yards in a game and it is the most ever for a Wildcat in an SEC opener...Two weeks into the season, he leads the SEC in rushing with 165.5 yards per game...Helped lead Kentucky to a 35-28 win over Missouri. - SEC Football

(DS#6 RB) rJr/2023 RB Chris Rodriguez Jr.Kentucky
News Source: SEC Football
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  09/13/21 - Chris Rodriguez Jr.rJr/2023, Kentucky, 5-11, 224 (DS#6 RB) + More +

  Kentucky's Chris Rodriguez Jr. was the fifth FBS player to rush for at least 200 yards in a game, setting career highs with 27 carries for 206 yards against Missouri. He tied his career best with three touchdown runs and also caught a 5-yard touchdown pass for his first collegiate receiving TD. Rodriguez, the first Kentucky player since Benny Snell in 2018 to rush for 100 yards in each of the first two games, has 331 for the season. His 166 yards per game is second nationally behind Brandon Thomas' 169 for Memphis. - AP College Football

(DS#6 RB) rJr/2023 RB Chris Rodriguez Jr.Kentucky
News Source: AP College Football
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  09/12/21 - Chris Rodriguez Jr.rJr/2023, Kentucky, 5-11, 224 (DS#6 RB) + More +

  Chris Rodriguez Jr. rushed for a career-high 206 yards and three of his four touchdowns, including the go-ahead score from 8 yards with 11:28 remaining, and Kentucky stopped Missouri late for a hard-fought 35-28 victory Saturday night in the Southeastern Conference opener. The Wildcats (2-0, 1-0) never trailed this thrilling showdown for the early East Division lead but had to overcome squandering a 28-14 lead as Missouri (1-1, 1-1) eventually tied the game early in the fourth quarter. Kentucky answered by taking the kickoff and quickly marching 75 yards, helped by Rodriguez's 28-yard run and Will Levis' 28-yard pass to tight end Justin Rigg to the Tigers' 8.

Rodriguez barged in from the 8 for the TD, a play in which he appeared to fumble as he crossed the goal line but was upheld on review. Missouri had a final chance to tie after blocking Kentucky's field goal attempt, but turned it over on downs as Connor Bazelak's pass intended for Dominic Lovett was broken up by Kentucky's Carrington Valentine with 1:30 left. Rodriguez, who surpassed his previous best of 149 yards against Vanderbilt last November, carried 27 times with additional TDs of 2 and 3 yards in matching his career high. The junior also had a 5-yard TD catch, his first, on Kentucky's opening drive. Levis completed 10 of 18 passes for 179 yards, a TD and an interception off a tipped pass. Most importantly, Kentucky controlled the line of scrimmage, an effort that totaled 340 yards rushing with Rodriguez leading the way. "Just me communicating with the (offensive) line," Rodriguez said. "After every series we would come off and talk about what's going on and where to hit (the line) at. I just trust those dudes." - Kentucky/AP College Football


(DS#6 RB) rJr/2023 RB Chris Rodriguez Jr.Kentucky
News Source: Kentucky/AP College Football
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  09/06/21 - Luke FortnerrSr/2022, Kentucky, 6-5, 300 (DS#20 C) + More +

  SEPT 6 SEC CO-OFFENSIVE LINEMAN OF THE WEEK: Luke Fortner, C, Kentucky,...Helped UK amass 564 yards total offense in UK's 45-10 win over ULM...In his first game at center after converting from guard...Totaled four knockdown blocks, eight blocks at the point of attack, and did not allow a sack...Kentucky had a 300-yard passer, two 100-yard receivers and a 100-yard rusher in a game for the first time since 2006. - SEC Football

(DS#20 C) rSr/2022 C Luke FortnerKentucky
News Source: SEC Football
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  09/04/21 - Will LevisrJr/2023, Kentucky, 6-2, 222 (DS#28 QB) + More +

  Will Levis came to Kentucky expecting this kind of performance, though his first time out created a tough act to follow. Levis threw for career highs of 367 yards and four touchdowns in his Wildcats debut, including two to fellow transfer Wan'Dale Robinson, and Kentucky overcame an early hole to blow out Louisiana Monroe 45-10 in Saturday's season opener. Playing on a sunny afternoon before its biggest crowd (in nearly two years following a season of COVID-19-related attendance restrictions, the Wildcats shrugged off a 7-0 deficit after a turnover to overwhelm the rebuilding Warhawks.

Unveiling a new pro set offense with former Penn State quarterback Levis behind center, Kentucky piled up 341 of its 564 yards by halftime alone to lead 28-7 and only allowed the Warhawks past midfield twice besides after the giveaway. The offensive numbers thoroughly demonstrated Levis' grasp of new coordinator Liam Coen's up-tempo scheme that ULM couldn't stop before 47,693. After his first pass went off Josh Ali's fingertips to ULM's Jabari Johnson, the junior quickly regrouped to deliver the flashy plays Kentucky lacked last season. - Kentucky/AP College Football


(DS#28 QB) rJr/2023 QB Will LevisKentucky
News Source: Kentucky/AP College Football
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  Carrington Valentine started against N.C. State in the Gator Bowl and has been frequently cited as a strong riser throughout fall camp; the true sophomore from Cincinnati is poised to become the next in what's becoming a steady line of defensive backs to make a name for themselves in Lexington. - Herald Leader

(DS#999 CB) So/2024 CB Carrington ValentineKentucky
News Source: Herald Leader
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  08/27/21 - Justin RiggrSr/2022, Kentucky, 6-5, 263 (DS#39 TE) + More +

  There has been no shortage of excitement about the role Kentucky's tight end could play in new offensive coordinator Liam Coen's scheme, but the majority of the attention has been devoted to Keaton Upshaw, who is expected to miss the entire season with an injury; Brenden Bates, a projected breakout candidate and Izayah Cummings, the former Male star who has earned raves after moving from wide receiver to tight end this month.

It is easy to forget then that super senior Justin Rigg is actually the returning starter at the position. Rigg is the most experienced player on Kentucky's roster with 50 games played. He ranks sixth on the team with 22 career starts. Even playing in an offense that struggled to establish a consistent passing attack Rigg has caught 30 passes for 358 yards in the last four years. He caught 23 passes for 273 yards and two touchdowns in the last two seasons. The 6-foot-6, 261-pound tight end probably cannot match the upside of Cummings or Bates at the position, but his steady production and ability to contribute as both a blocker and pass-catcher should not be overlooked. - Courier Journal


(DS#39 TE) rSr/2022 TE Justin RiggKentucky
News Source: Courier Journal
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  08/27/21 - RJ AdamsSo/2024, Kentucky, 6-3, 330 (DS#999 OG) + More +

  Six University of Kentucky football players charged with burglary in Fayette County had their cases waived to a grand jury on Wednesday. R.J. Adams, JuTahn McClain, Andru Phillips, Earnest Sanders, Vito Tisdale and Joel Williams all appeared in Fayette District Court for preliminary hearings on Wednesday. Judge Bruce T. Bell granted a request by their attorneys to waive those hearings to a grand jury. The detective who wrote the criminal summons for each player was present in the court room. Attorneys representing the players all declined comment.

No date was set for the grand jury proceeding, which will be closed to the public. According to the Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy, prosecutors have up to 60 days to present a case to a grand jury, which does not judge innocence or guilt; a grand jury will be presented with evidence to determine whether charges should be dismissed or an indictment should be returned. Nine of 12 jurors must be in agreement to return an indictment. All six players last Thursday were charged with first degree burglary stemming from a March 6 party hosted at a private residence by Alpha Sigma Phi, a campus fraternity. Tisdale, who is on probation for marijuana possession in Warren County, also was charged with first degree wanton endangerment. - Herald Leader


(DS#999 OG) So/2024 OG RJ AdamsKentucky
News Source: Herald Leader
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  08/25/21 - Vito TisdaleSo/2024, Kentucky, 6-0, 200 (DS#999 FS) + More +

  University of Kentucky football player Vito Tisdale, one of six players on the team charged in Fayette County, is currently on probation for an unrelated charge in his hometown. Tisdale on July 28 pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana in Warren County District Court. Marijuana possession in Kentucky is a Class B misdemeanor subject to jail time of up to 45 days, to which Tisdale was sentenced. That sentencing was probated for 24 months.

The guilty plea was in response to a July 2 citation. According to the citation, Tisdale "disregarded the stop sign at the intersection" of two streets in Bowling Green. "Upon making contact with Tisdale" an officer wrote, "I detected the strong odor of marijuana coming from his vehicle. I also observed marijuana shake in his lap." A probable cause search was conducted, resulting in the discovery of a "bud of marijuana" in the cup holder of Tisdale's vehicle. He was cited and released. On Thursday, Tisdale was one of six UK players charged in Fayette County with burglary stemming from a March 6 incident at a private residence. Additionally, Tisdale was charged with wanton endangerment. - Herald Leader


(DS#999 FS) So/2024 FS Vito TisdaleKentucky
News Source: Herald Leader
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  08/23/21 - Will LevisrJr/2023, Kentucky, 6-2, 222 (DS#28 QB) + More +

  There's more to playing quarterback than a strong arm. Will Levis can spin it. No doubt about that. Kentucky's new starting quarterback has the arm talent college coaches crave. He has been working on his mechanics, fine-tuning the touch on his intermediate and short throws, and putting in the time in front of the video screen. But when Levis was asked Tuesday about what he needs to work on, now that he has been officially named the Wildcats' No. 1 quarterback, the Penn State transfer pointed to a facet of the job description that has little to do with out routes.

"Being a leader for this team," Levis said. "And learning how to connect with all the guys the best way possible. Everybody is going to be led effectively differently. Obviously, since I'm new here, I've spent these last few months getting to know these guys. It's going to take a lot of effort to really get their trust and show that I can lead them effectively in whatever situation we find ourselves in." Like it or not, the quarterback is the face of the program. And QB1 should be player No. 1 when it comes to leadership. He should have command of not just the playbook, but the locker room, and in a way that translates for public consumption. As Mark Stoops has often said, there are position battles all over the roster during a team's training camp, but the quarterback battle always draws the most interest. "It is what it is," Stoops said Sunday. "We understand that." - Herald Leader


(DS#28 QB) rJr/2023 QB Will LevisKentucky
News Source: Herald Leader
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  08/22/21 - Will LevisrJr/2023, Kentucky, 6-2, 222 (DS#28 QB) + More +

  He has only been in Lexington a few months, but Will Levis is officially the big man on campus. University of Kentucky football head coach Mark Stoops officially announced Levis as the starting quarterback during an impromptu Sunday news conference, announced minutes after reports surfaced that he had addressed the team to inform them of the decision. Levis' efficiency in running UK's offense through two weeks of camp, including the team's first scrimmage on Saturday, was a difference-maker. Stoops said he's completed 74 percent of his passes on what he called "gradable snaps" and that he threw a 65-yard touchdown pass on his first live play in Saturday's scrimmage.

"He has a lot of talent," Stoops said. "He's been doing some things really good. He's been very efficient. He's got unbelievable arm strength. He's a big, strong guy. He won the job." Levis' performance in Saturday's scrimmage left quite an impression on Stoops, who said all three quarterbacks vying for the starting job - Levis, junior Joey Gatewood and sophomore Beau Allen - had done well in camp. It was "clear," though, following the Cats' first scrimmage, who should get the ball when UK hosts Louisiana Monroe on Sept. 4. Stoops lauded Levis' presence in the locker room, which was thought by some to be a potential road block to him being named the starter since he'd only been around since May. "I feel very clear on this decision," Stoops said. - Herald Leader


(DS#28 QB) rJr/2023 QB Will LevisKentucky
News Source: Herald Leader
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  Kentucky must replace two NFL draft picks at cornerback. One of those spots should be filled by senior Cedrick Dort, who started 12 games in 2019. Valentine, a sophomore from Cincinnati, is the favorite to win the other starting job. "Has the right makeup," White said of Valentine at the kickoff luncheon. "Was able to play some as a freshman so he's got some reps under his belt. But the way he's approached and attacked the spring and the offseason, I think he's a guy who's really going to challenge and push at that corner position for us."

Valentine played in 10 games as a freshman, totaling 10 tackles and one pass breakup. He started the Gator Bowl versus NC State after Cowboys second-round pick Kelvin Joseph opted out of the bowl game. Valentine tallied a season-high six tackles and forced a fumble to close his debut season on a high note. "It kind of boosted my confidence a little bit," Valentine said of the Gator Bowl this spring. "Basically, starting that last game as a freshman was really big for me. Now, going into the offseason, trying to perfect my craft and bring my teammates along, being used to the defense and all, that was really big for me." - Courier Journal


(DS#999 CB) So/2024 CB Carrington ValentineKentucky
News Source: Courier Journal
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  08/19/21 - Vito TisdaleSo/2024, Kentucky, 6-0, 200 (DS#999 FS) + More +

  Six University of Kentucky football players have been charged with first-degree burglary, with one also accused of first degree wanton endangerment, following the investigation of an incident last March at a private party. The Lexington Police Department said in a release Thursday that offensive lineman Reuben Adams, running back Robert McClain, defensive back Andru Phillips, receiver Earnest Sanders IV, safety Devito Tisdale and defensive back Joel Williams were charged with first-degree burglary. Tisdale also was charged with wanton endangerment for allegedly pointing a gun at one of the victims. The players face arraignment Friday in Fayette County District Court. Wildcats coach Mark Stoops said in a statement that he was aware of the current situation and that the program had been aware of the matter since March. The program withheld players from team activities while a student conduct review was held and returned to activity in June based on the outcome. - AP College Football

(DS#999 FS) So/2024 FS Vito TisdaleKentucky
News Source: AP College Football
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  08/15/21 - Will LevisrJr/2023, Kentucky, 6-2, 222 (DS#28 QB) + More +

  Kentucky coach Mark Stoops has named Penn State transfer Will Levis as the Wildcats' starting quarterback over holdovers Joey Gatewood and Beau Allen. Levis arrived in June and had to quickly pick up new offensive coordinator Liam Coen's pro style system that promises to speed up the Southeastern Conference worst passing attack last season in yards per game (124.1). The junior began camp expected to compete with Gatewood and Allen, who had a jump on the system this spring, and Stoops said on media day that he wanted to "get it right than be in a hurry" in making a choice.

He informed the QBs of his decision on Sunday before announcing in a virtual news conference. Stoops added that Gatewood, an Auburn transfer who played in seven games last season, planned to enter the NCAA transfer portal. The 6-foot-3, 232-pound Levis completed 61 of 102 passes for 644 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions in 15 games over three seasons for the Nittany Lions. He will make his Kentucky debut on Sept. 4 against Louisiana-Monroe. - AP College Football


(DS#28 QB) rJr/2023 QB Will LevisKentucky
News Source: AP College Football
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