LEXINGTON — Jordan Watson was one of the early commitments in Kentucky’s 2012 football recruiting class and he never backed off his pledge to the Wildcats despite UK’s 5-7 season.
The 315-pound offensive lineman was ranked as the 31st-best prospect in Georgia by SuperPrep for his play at Whitewater High School, the same school that sent running back Josh Clemons to UK¿a year earlier.
Here’s more from Watson:
Question: Did you ever come close to wavering on your commitment to Kentucky?
Watson: “It is a SEC football program and constantly, even if you are in the best conference, teams have down years and there is nothing wrong with that. We will bounce back. We are a SEC program and we have a lot of great upperclassmen around here. We will be great again. Several teams have had down years.
“But it never made me waver. This is where I¿want to be for academic reasons, personal reasons. I¿am really happy here.”
Question: Didn’t several teams try to get you to waver on your commitment?
Watson: “Yes they did, but I was where I¿wanted to be. When I committed June 5, I knew where I wanted to be and that did not change.”
Question: What have you thought of the offensive talent here?
Watson: “We have a lot of potential and we have fantastic coaches here. They will just mold us into what they want us to be. I¿think we will do great things in the future.”
Question: What are your impressions of Larry Warford and what can you learn from him?
Watson: “Larry has been fantastic to me as far as teaching me the plays, teaching me how to live, run, do things the Kentucky way. Matt Smith is in the same boat. Trevino Woods. I am learning from all of them. Even Darrian Miller and Zach West have been great to me. There has been no hazing or anything like that. It has all been productive. We all hang out together and we all learn from each other. Guys like Larry just teach me the Kentucky way and he’s just an amazing player.
“Offensive linemen are all from different parts of this country and even though we grew up nowhere near each other, we all can relate and had similar situations in high school where we all went through recruiting the same way. We are all here to do a common thing, and that’s win games. We can relate. It is fun when we are all together.”
Question: Just how big is the playbook?
Watson: “It is big, very big. It’s not all bad. Just stuff we have to know and memorize to beat teams and schools we need to beat. It’s not that bad. I¿am not saying it is not overwhelming at times, but I realized it is something I¿have to learn soon. With upperclassmen helping us and with coach (Mike) Summers being a fantastic coach, I think we will be able to learn it.”
Question: Why does Kentucky keep having success going into Georgia and getting good players?
Watson: “Kentucky is a great spot for anybody to come to.¿I love it here and anybody that has ever been here will tell you they love it here. I grew up in Georgia and lived there my whole life, so I can’t really speak for other states. But I know high school football in Georgia is about as intense an event as you can go to in Georgia. We feel like we do things the right way as far as developing talent. It’s just a good place to play football and I think UK is making a great choice coming there to recruit.”
Question: With so much hope that your freshman class will help reverse UK’s consecutive losing seasons, how do you feel aboutthe talent in your class?
Watson: “They are as good as advertised. I will tell you that. Obviously I¿have not seen a lot in pads, but in the weight room they are as good as advertised. They are strong, determined and hard working. They are highly motivated. I think we will do some good things. Just give us a little time and let these coaches work with us and we will be fine.”
Safety Faulkner out 6-8 with ankle injury
Kentucky coach Joker Phillips announced that sophomore safety Glenn Faulkner, who played in 11 games last season mostly on special teams, has sustained an ankle injury that required surgery.
“He is out six-to-eight weeks,” Phillips said after Thursday’s practice. “It could be six weeks, we will just have to see how fast he heals. If he heals and we feel like he is ready to go then we will play him, if not then we still have a redshirt (season available).”
Phillips said that everything went well with the surgery.
The UK coach said he still likes the team’s depth at safety.
“Again, we still have some depth at the safety position with Dakotah Tyler coming back and some of these young freshmen are starting to make their move because of the reps they are getting with him being out,” Phillips said.