Two Cats dismissed; QB enrolls early

Reese Phillips

It was an unusually-busy January news day for Kentucky football as Mark Stoops welcomed the early enrollment of quarterback commitment Reese Phillips, and UK confirmed the dismissal of two players.

It was an unusually-busy January news day for Kentucky football as Mark Stoops welcomed the early enrollment of quarterback commitment Reese Phillips, and UK confirmed the dismissal of two players.

Signal Mountain (Tenn.) High School quarterback Reese Phillips, who was selected the MVP of the Tennessee East/West All-Star Classic in Decemeber, has begun classes at UK and will participate in spring practice with the Wildcats. His addition will give offensive coordinator four scholarship quarterbacks -- Maxwell Smith, Jalen Whitlow, Patrick Towles and Phillips -- to work with as he implements his new system.

"We're excited about Reese getting started with us," Stoops said in a statement released by UK Media Relations. "Being able to enroll at mid-year and go through spring practice will greatly help his development."

Phillips (6-2, 225) led Signal Mountain to a 7-4 record as a senior, completing 172 of 274 passes for 2,274 yards, 15 touchdowns and only three interceptions to earn all-state honors from the Tennessee Sports Writers Association.

After the season, he played in the Tennessee East/West All-Star Classic, going 10-for-10 for 95 yards and a touchdown in leading the East to a 41-20 win, setting a record for most points in the event.

"Reese is a very intelligent kid with a work ethic that is tremendous," Signal Mountain coach Bill Price said. "He has a very strong arm and his accuracy is a big plus."

Phillips was also a two-year all-district performer in baseball, playing shortstop and pitcher. As a junior, he went 7-1 on the mound with a 0.85 ERA and 60 strikeouts in 49.1 innings pitched. In the classroom, he's an honor-roll student and member of the Beta Club.

Phillips graduated from high school a semester early with the goal of getting a head start on his college career. He has enrolled along with two junior college players, tight end Steven Borden and defensive end Za'Darius Smith, who signed in December. All three players will participate in spring practice.

Kentucky also confirmed that Stoops has dismissed defensive backs Marcus Caffey and Jonathan Reed from the team for unspecified team rules. Caffey, a sophomore-to-be from Atlanta, missed the 2012 season due to academic issues. Reed, a freshman from Indianapolis, was redshirted last season.

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