This is one of the best pieces of news in recent memory that we've heard about next season; Jarmon was not only an outstanding defensive lineman, but also an incredibly smart individual that will be on point for the program from day one.
As a player for the Wildcats, Jarmon earned All-SEC honors in 2007 and 2008 along with consistently being one of the league's leaders in sacks. He helped anchor a surprisingly strong defense for Kentucky as the program began to climb out of the conference's basement towards respectability.
He was also a vocal locker room leader and an excellent student who was very involved and knowledgeable about politics and a talented actor for the theater department.
In 2008, however, Jarmon unknowingly took a banned substance: an over-the-counter weight loss product (per Chip Cosby at KentuckySports.com). The punishment was Kentucky's best player and a true student athlete losing his last year of eligibility.
Ironically, other players in the SEC who were busted that year for illegal drug use (per thestate.com) or attempting to rob a gas station (per USAtoday.com) were simply suspended for a limited amount of time.
Jarmon still got his degree and was taken in that year's NFL supplemental draft by the Washington Redskins. He got off to a strong start, but a major tear of his ACL (per the Washington Post) set him back.
After being traded to the Broncos, Jarmon never felt like he could or would ever fully recover, so he retired from professional football (per KentcukySportsRadio.com).
Fortunately for the Big Blue Nation, Jarmon has decided to sign on with the football team and help right Joker Phillip's struggling ship. For an example of how great this kid is, linked here is a podcast he did with Kentucky Sports Radio. He somehow makes you ready to run through a wall to support this year's team, which many of us (myself included) had already written off.
Jarmon knows football, he was a great player (whose further greatness was only derailed by a severe injury) and a high quality individual. He's incredibly smart, well spoken and a great motivator (and if you follow his Twitter account, you also know that he is pretty funny, too).
I'm nowhere near ready to jump on the Joker Phillips bandwagon, but this might honestly be my favorite decision that has been made under his watch...and some much-needed good news for a program with its back against the wall.
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