In-State Battle for St. X Kicker

Scout.com
Posted Nov 16, 2005


The Wildcat coaching staff has made no secret about its desire in pursuing a kicker to replace senior Taylor Begley. Luckily for Kentucky, the state offers one of the best in the country, out of the river city in Louisville. Get to know Tim Dougherty, because in the next two months, he's likely going to be one of the most talked about recruits on the UK recruiting road map.

Tim Dougherty isn't much for bragging, but even arguably the state's best kicker can't help but be proud of the 60-yarder that sticks out like a sore thumb in his highlight tape.

And if that isn't enough to get you drooling like a dog in heat, former Wildcat legend Doug Pelphry would be happy to put the finishing touches for you.

Not only has he been a mentor to the 5-foot-10 soccer style kicker, but he personally took the extra time to meet assistant coach Joker Phillips himself, vouching for the St. Xavier senior's abilities this past summer.

No, he may not be 6-foot-3, 230 pounds and no, he might not be able to kick a ball 67 yards, but he'll gladly knock any kickoff you ask him to partake in, through the opposite end-zone's uprights.

"He's done that a few times," teammate Justin Jeffries giggling in an earlier interview stated. "Actually, he's done that - well - a lot of times."

To watch Dougherty kick is nearly as eventful as the game itself. He doesn't have the benefit of a very sound snapping game, nor a great offensive line outside of Justin Jeffries, but to watch and hear the force by which his small frame exhibits towards the ball, looks as smooth as Picasso with a paint brush.

"I've kicked some 60-yarders in practice before," Dougherty said. "My long for the year in a game is 44 yards. My most telling stat is really my kickoff percentage. According to my coach this year, 85% of my kickoffs have gone into the end zone."

Dougherty's ability has not gone unnoticed by college recruiters either. The senior from St. Xavier High School in Louisville (Ky.) has garnered the attention from in-state powers UK and UofL and is expecting to hear back about a scholarship offer shortly.

"(UK) told me they are really looking for a place kicker this year," Dougherty stated, "With Taylor Begley graduating, they are looking for someone that can step into his spot. They really only have one other guy that dresses and he's a walk-on that's going to be a senior.

"(UK) told me that they are bringing in a full class this year and they are still looking to fill 9 more spots," Dougherty explained. "They were unsure if they were going to have a scholarship available for me. We've been told to basically wait until the season is over."

The Wildcats recently brought in a punter/kicker last season in Tim Masthay, who was expected to take over the place-kicking duties once Taylor Begley graduated.

According to Dougherty, that's not necessarily the case, anymore. "Tim Masthay told me personally that he thinks he's just going to focus on punting next year," Dougherty explained, "so as far as needing someone and offering playing time, UK definitely is in need this season."

Hometown Louisville has been extremely impressed with the 180 pound prospect. Petrino and company have been very active in their recruitment of Tim.

"Louisville has expressed quite a bit of interest in me as well," Dougherty explained. "Their coaching staff has been to a lot of games and just looking at the depth chart, they are also looking for someone to bring in as well. They don't have a guy behind their starter either and he's a sophomore."

Still the Wildcats may be the team to beat for Dougherty's services. The hopeful athlete has been to Lexington for three unofficial visits and is hoping to add another. "I've gone to the Mississippi State game and the Auburn game," Dougherty said. "The program is definitely on the rise. I think they know that. I'm going to attend the Tennessee game and hopefully know more about my situation by then."

One added advantage for Kentucky possibly landing Tim's services if in fact UK does offer, is Jeffries. The 6-foot-6, 310 pound offensive lineman constantly takes the time to sell the Wildcats to his teammate and friend.

"Justin speaks very highly of the program and I know he's vouching for me and wanting me to come to UK with him," Dougherty said. "It's more or less just a waiting game right now, once the season is over, they said that they will start figuring it out and will get back to me."

One thing is for sure, Dougherty will play major division 1 football somewhere. "I don't wanna go somewhere small, so if I have to settle for a walk-on - I will," Dougherty stated. "No school, out of UofL and UK, really stands out right now. Obviously, as a walk-on, their will be more competition if I walk-on at UK because of their situation with Begley graduating. At UofL, I'd definitely go there and redshirt.

"If I have to choose to walk-on, I think it will come down to the coaching staff and PT - where I can see the field the earliest."


Rob is a contributing recruiting analyst for Scout.com and the state of Kentucky. He is currently a liaison journalist for Cumulus Broadcasting, as well as co-host of Kentucky Sports Radio and Rovion's SEC Basketball Preview. He formerly wrote and edited for Inside Kentucky, the magazine and website, and his articles have been syndicated on websites for Yahoo!, CBS Sportsline, Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated and The Sporting News. Email Rob at rob.gidel@kentuckysportsradio.com


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