When Coach Rich Brooks came to Kentucky years ago, he knew that building Kentucky into an SEC football team would be no easy task.
In 2006, Brooks and the Cats went on to win the Music City Bowl and again in 2007. In those two years, Kentucky beat the likes of Georgia, Louisville, LSU, Clemson, and Florida State.
Then again in 2008, Kentucky won just enough games in a rebuilding year to go to the Liberty Bowl against East Carolina.
Kentucky took care of East Carolina and completed an improbable comeback to capture the Liberty Bowl championship.
Kentucky set a school record when they went to the Liberty Bowl. It marked the first time since 1949-1951 that Kentucky had been to three straight bowl games.
They also set the school record for winning all three of the last bowl games.
Brooks has slowly built Kentucky from the ground up. Now he is working on putting the furniture in the new house.
The Wildcats have already gotten good news from two key defensive players that will be returning to Kentucky for their senior year.
6'2", 250-pound middle linebacker Micah Johnson told the faithful blue and white fans that he will be back for the 2009 season.
Another key player returning will be 6'3", 277-pound defensive end Jeremy Johnson. He, like Micah Johnson, will be returning for his senior year.
The only key player left is 6'0", 175-pound cornerback Trevard Lindley. Lindley just announced today that he was comeing back to play for Kentucky.
Here are projected returning players for Kentucky in 2009.
Mike Hartline, Will Fidler, Randall Cobb, DeAunte Mason, Tyler Sargent
Running Backs and Fullbacks
Moncell Allen, Stephen Ball, Trey Bowland, John Conner, Derrick Locke, A.J. Nance, Matt Ramsey, Alfonso Smith
E.J. Adams, Eric Adeyemi, Aaron Boyd, Nik Brazley, E.J. Fields, Jonathan Gholson, Kyrus Lanxter, Gene McCaskill, Matt Roark
Ross Bogue, Chris Cessna, T.C. Drake, Maurice Grinter, Andre Henderson
Marcus Davis, Zipp Duncan, Brad Durham, Jorge Gonzalez, Stuart Hines, Osaze Idumwonyi, Justin Jeffries, Christian Johnson, Jake Lanefski, Dustin Luck, Billy Joe Murphy, Matt Smith, Sean Stackhouse, Dave Ulinski, Michael Williams, Trevino Woods
Chandler Burden, Antwane Glenn, Jeremy Johnson, Ricky Lumpkin, Shane McCord, Luke McDermott, Greg Meisner, Josh Minton, Charles Mustafaa, Corey Peters, Joe Scott, Collins Ukwu, B.J. Wiedemann, Taylor Wyndham
Jacob Dufrene, Micah Johnson, Williams Johnson, Mikhail Mabry, Sam Maxwell, Brain Murphy, Mike Schwindel, Ronnie Sneed, Antonio Thomas, Brandon Thurmond, Danny Trevathan
Randall Burden, Ashton Cobb, Daryl Faulkner, Winston Guy, Calvin Harrison, Matt Lentz, Anthony Mosley, Cartier Rice, Taiedo Smith, Greg Wilson, Trevard Lindley, Paul Warford*
Kickers, Punters, and Snappers
Brad Hart, J.J. Helton, Lones Seiber, Jon Thomas, Ryan Tydlacka
* Paul Warford expected to rejoin team in 2009.
Kentucky 2009 Commitments
Player, Position, Star Rating
Brian Adams: Athlete, two-star
Jordan Aumiller: Linebacker, two-star
Justin Bean: Wide Receiver, two-star
Mister Cobble: Defensive Tackle, two-star
Mark Crawford: Defensive Tackle, three-star
Qua Huzzie: Linebacker, three-star
Tristian Johnson: Defensive End, three-star
Anthony Kendrick: Tight End, three-star
LaRod King: Wide Receiver, three-star
Chris Matthews: Wide Receiver, four-star
Demetri Merritt: Linebacker, two-star
Kevin Mitchell: Offensive Lineman, two-star
Ryan Mossakowski: Quarterback, five-star
Morgan Newton: Quarterback, three-star
Donte Rumph: Defensive End, three-star
Sam Simpson: Offensive Lineman, three-star
Dakotah Tyler: Running Back, two-star
Jarvis Walker: Linebacker, three-star
Myron Walker: Defensive Tackle, three-star
Larry Warford: Offensive Lineman, three-star
Ridge Wilson: Linebacker, three-star
Look at 2008 Kentucky Football Schedule (subject to change)
Sept. 5: Open
Sept. 12: Open
Sept. 19: Louisville
Sept. 26: Florida
Oct. 3: Alabama
Oct. 10: @ South Carolina
Oct. 17: @ Auburn
Oct. 24: Louisiana-Monroe
Oct. 31: Mississippi State
Nov. 7: Eastern Kentucky
Nov. 14: @ Vanderbilt
Nov. 21: @ Georgia
Nov. 28: Tennessee