UK commits sound off on Tennessee win--part 1

UK commits sound off on Tennessee win--part 1

Whether they were at the game or somewhere watching on television, Kentucky recruits agree that UK's 10-7 win over Tennessee Saturday was "exciting" and certainly something they hope to build on during their future careers as Wildcats. (This is Part 1 of a 2 part article)

Whether they were at the game or somewhere watching on television, Kentucky recruits agree that UK's 10-7 win over Tennessee Saturday was "exciting" and certainly something they hope to build on during their future careers as Wildcats.

"I was actually out with friends watching at a restaurant after we finished practice," said Highlands quarterback Patrick Towles. "In my lifetime, we had never beat Tennessee. Never. I was at the overtime game a couple of years ago with my leg over the side of the field and ready to rush the field (when UK?lost).

"It was awesome to see Kentucky get over that hump and finally beat Tennessee. I saw the fans rush the field and carry (Matt) Roark off the field on TV and loved it."

Indianapolis offensive lineman Jon Toth was at the game — and on the field mingling with UK?fans during the postgame celebration.

"I went right out there. It was exciting being a prospective student-athlete in that position," Toth said. "I can't imagine what it would be like to be out there as a player when that happens again. It was definitely exciting to see Kentucky, which did not have the best year, finish the season with a win like that when they had not beat Tennessee in 26 years. It was a pretty electric atmosphere in there after they won. Fans running on the field like that were a sight to see."

Here's what some other players who have also verbally committed to sign with Kentucky in February thought about the win along with more from Towles and Toth.

Jordan Watson, offensive lineman, Fayetteville, Ga.

He had planned to attend the game but that changed after his grandmother passed away last week and he decided to stay home with his family. However, he says he "watched the whole thing" on TV.

"I was about as fired up as I have been in a while," Watson said. "Watching and seeing Roark (a receiver who was forced to play quarterback) play so hard and lay his heart on the field was incredible. After the game, seeing the fans storm the field was incredible. I would have given anything to be there. Beating Tennessee is better than bowl games. I know what that win means.

"Obviously, I hope it is a sign of things to come. I definitely could get used to beating Tennessee every year. I think things are really looking up with the program. We are losing some good players like (Danny) Trevathan, (Winston) Guy and three offensive linemen, but I am excited about the future. The fans are crazy, and I?like that. It's a great place for me and we will be building on this Tennessee win for years to come."

Watson noticed that several recruits, including Kentuckians Patrick Graffree and Towles, posted Facebook comments after the game as did Toth.

"There was a good bit of buzz among recruits about the game. Then I read a lot of blogs. There was just a lot going on," Watson said.

Daron Blaylock, linebacker, Marietta, Ga.

He thought it was "neat to see fans charge the field" after the game and watched parts of the game on TV.

"It was so exciting. I am so happy for (UK coach) Joker (Phillips) and (assistant) coach (Greg)?Nord," Blaylock said. "I was already solid with Kentucky, but it was pretty cool that fans will react like that and cheer us on. I never had any doubts about coming to Kentucky, but this made me really feel good about my decision."

His brother, Zack Blaylock, a safety, will also be coming to UK ?with him. They have Walton High School in the state semifinals this week or they likely would have been at the game.

"It has been a while since our team has gone this far, but we think we have a great chance to win," Blaylock, who has also been used on offense and has 10 receptions this year, said. "I have played well on defense and just want to finish the season strong and then get ready to be part of the Kentucky program."

Josh Harris, running back, Maysville.

He's had a difficult season because a foot injury required surgery and forced him to miss almost the entire year. That's partially why he enjoyed being at Commonwealth Stadium so much Saturday.

"It was awesome to watch how excited everybody got,"?Harris said. "It was huge to snap that losing streak. It may not have been the prettiest game to watch, but it was an awesome win.

"I didn't rush the field because my foot is still healing. I thought about it, but I was afraid somebody would go wild and jump on it. I didn't get to go in with the team after the game, either, because I had to leave to get back home. But I?know this makes me feel even better about coming to Kentucky. The way the players got so excited and played so hard just makes me feel even more confident about my decision."

He says his foot is improving and soon he'll be out of the protective boot he wears and able to start jogging.

"It's tough to watch your teammates play and not be out there," he said. "I'm just glad I?made my decision early and didn't have to worry about impressing anyone after I?got hurt. UK?wanted me, and I?wanted them bad. That's why I loved the way they battled Saturday. They had not shot at a bowl game, but they came out with all they had and got a huge win."

Jon Toth, offensive lineman, Indianapolis.

Even though he was at the game and on the field before the game, no one told him about Roark's move to quarterback because of injuries to Maxwell Smith and Morgan Newton.

"It was sure a different look. With all the injuries they had at quarterback, who knew that would happen. It wasn't a bad thing at all. Whatever works, works," Toth said.

"I know the fans definitely had a positive impact on me because I?have seen a lot of programs where the fans are not that loyal. Kentucky fans definitely are some of the most loyal football fans I?have ever encountered. This was not the best season, but the stadium was packed.

"I had been to other games at Kentucky, but never one quite like this. Then after the game in the locker room, all the players were jumping around and dancing to music. It was just a good time to be a Wildcat."

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