Wednesday, July 13, 2011
SEC bounce-back players: Kentucky
By Edward Aschoff
Our bounce-back series returns as we take a look at the Kentucky Wildcats:
Morgan Newton, QB, Jr.: Newton wasn't injured last season and off-field issues didn't keep him out of the lineup, but he did fall off after a tremendous freshman year two years ago. Poised to redshirt, the frosh took over the offense after starter Mike Hartline went down with a season-ending injury and finished the year completing 55.6 percent of his passes for 706 yards and six touchdowns. He went 5-3 as a starter and was selected to the SEC All-Freshman Team by the league coaches. Last year, he slinked back into the No. 2 spot, passing for just 265 yards and no touchdowns. Now, this is his offense. He failed to regain his starting spot last year, but had no real competition this spring. Newton has had an up-and-down career at Kentucky, but enters the fall focused and ready to lead. He doesn't have a lot of playmakers around him, so there will be added pressure on him until he can find a couple of solid targets in the passing game.
Mister Cobble, DT, So.: Since his arrival, the coaches have been excited to see what sort of production Cobble would have for the Wildcats. Unfortunately, he hasn't exactly taken off like everyone expected. He redshirted in 2009 and sat out the regular season last year because of academic issues. He finally regained his eligibility before the BBVA Compass Bowl, where he recorded a tackle. Cobble entered spring in the thick of the competition for one of the starting spots at defensive tackle. Cobble underwent shoulder surgery in April, but coach Joker Phillips expects him to return by the start of the season. For Cobble, he has to concentrate on both his grades and staying in shape while he's out. Of course, he has to stay on track academically when he returns as well. At 6 feet and 338 pounds, Cobble could be a force in the middle of a defensive line that has a lot of issues heading into the fall.