DEMAREE: UK likes the direction Durham took

DEMAREE:  UK likes the direction Durham took

Many observers are saying the stars are aligned for UK to continue having the season they are having, and so much so that recruiting gifts are landing in their laps. To that end, such is the case of offensive lineman Brad Durham from Rockcastle County in Mt. Vernon, Kentucky.

Durham is part of a Rockcastle County connection, the other of which is starting offensive right guard Jason Leger. In just four games this season Leger has already garnered SEC Lineman of the Week honors on two different occasions, the latest off the Arkansas game.

Redshirt freshman Durham was a gift from the University of Louisville that UK has found to be gifted on the field of play. Why do we call Durham a gift? Well, after spending an inordinate amount of time on the practice field during the 2006 spring practice, it was a foregone conclusion that he would be a Wildcat. Not so! He pulled the trigger on a commitment for the University of Louisville Cardinals as his school of choice.

My sources informed me that Durham had a staphylococcus infection in his foot that slowed him down the first three games of his senior season. Perhaps U of L didn't know this. "That's no excuse," Durham said. "Everybody has injuries and that shouldn't have made any difference."

We all know the story by now of how Louisville pulled the rug out from under Durham and rescinded the scholarship offer. Allegedly, the U of L word was they felt they could recruit better.

Now comes the rub and an even larger mystery of why U of L did what they did. First of all Durham, 6-foot-5, 320-pounds, is a big human being that's not fat. Offensive line coach Jimmy Heggins said what they liked about him in the recruiting process - "What I saw was a big guy that could run, mobile, flexible and he dominated in his games. He had a lot of ability."

Was Heggins surprised at Louisville's move?

"Yes I was kind of surprised but I didn't know what was going on but they know what they want to do. Maybe it was a numbers crunch or something. We are just glad to have him."

Coach Steve Ortmayer, who was the lead recruiter on Durham said he came from the same school Leger came from and their head coach Tom Larkey was very helpful.

"Tom knew what kind of person Brad is," Ortmayer said, "what kind of worker he is and the thing Brad had that Jason did not have was NFL kind of size. This is a big guy with a 3.8 GPA and played every down on offense and played every down on defense and he never came off the field. So you know he is a worker and has toughness." Asked why U of L pulled back, Ortmayer said, "did you ask them, you ought to ask them.

I will ask Louisville why they did what they did. If I had thought about it, I would have asked them the other day. You can't find a better in-state recruit than this.

Durham was perplexed himself. "They said they looked at my game film and from what I know, they didn't have any game film on me,"Durham said. They could've just been making excuses, they could've ran out of scholarships and wanted to offer some else."

Nonetheless, U of L made a huge mistake and that mistake is UK's gain. Again, perhaps the stars are aligned for something special to happen in UK's program.

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