Dicky Lyons at SEC Media Days 2008
HOOVER, Ala. - Kentucky enters this season after back-to-back eight win seasons, including two Music City Bowl championships. Is that enough? What about a third straight bowl game? That still won't be enough "satisfaction" for Dicky Lyons, Jr. and Kentucky.
Relaxed at SEC Media Days in Hoover, Alabama, a confident Dicky Lyons, Jr. enters this season as Kentucky's leading returning receiver, and expects big things for Kentucky and himself this season. After sitting down, and advising the media "don't be shy," Lyons entertained the crowd with stories of dreams of his fiancee, barroom brawls with rival quarterbacks, and swan dives from head coach Rich Brooks. But in between he also did not shy away from his own expectations for this year.
"Personal goals? To be the Heisman winner," Lyons admitted. "I like to set my goals as high as possible, those idealistic goals. If I say I want to be the best receiver in the nation, and have 20 catches for 400 yards and four touchdowns in every game, and if I only get half, that's still 10 catches, 200 yards and two touchdowns, which is still better than most receivers get in two to three games. So you set those goals, and you reach for them, and you can't be unsatisfied if you try to reach those goals."
Lyons included the team among those lofty expectations, and admitted that last year's team may not have had lofty enough expectations last season--and may have become content too easily.
"The most important thing I have taken back from last season is 'don't get satisfied,'" Lyons explained. "Because after we beat LSU we got satisfied with going to another bowl, and doing something Kentucky hasn't done."
"This year, say we get to another bowl bid after six or seven wins. And that will be something that Kentucky has never done, gone to three straight bowl games. So I don't want this team to just get satisfied to just going to another bowl. Because that's what we did, and you could just see it. And the players weren't determined to win any more. We wanted to win, but it takes a little something extra, especially in this league to win every game, especially against the competition you're going against. So do not get satisfied is what I have been telling the younger players."
For Kentucky to excel and reach any of the most optimistic fans' lofty expectations, Lyons will have to perform at a high level, and be the team leader coach Brooks and staff expect him to be. If SEC Media Days was any indication, Lyons is well on his way to achieving those expectations, at the very least.
Lyons wasn't perfect, however. He failed "music history 101" in front of the cameras.
"I was thinking of a song--something with satisfaction--who sang that song? Rolling Stones? That was before my time. I saw them at the Super Bowl."
Indeed, another bowl. But at least that one was a bowl game at the highest level. Somehow it was fitting that Lyons used that example to illustrate his point.