Kentucky Wildcats’ stars
by Jeff Dantzler
Number 16 LaRod King, WR
6-4, 222 Sr.
Radcliffe, Ky. (North Hardin H.S.)
A total package at wide receiver, King has the size, the
hands and the speed. At 6-4, he’s an inviting target
over the middle. King is also a very tough match-up
for smallish corners. In what has been a disappointing
campaign, King has been a bright spot, leading the
team in receptions, yards and scores. Last season, he
hauled in 40 receptions for 598 yards and seven touchdowns,
leading the team and ranking in the top ten in
the Southeastern Conference in all three categories.
The last time Georgia came to Lexington, King put on
a show in the Bulldogs win, collecting two touchdowns
and 88 yards on three catches. As a freshman in 2009,
he made a magnificent catch and scored a 21-yard
touchdown in the Wildcats 34-27 win at Sanford Stadium,
Kentucky’s first win in Athens since 1977. King
scored in Kentucky’s first two games this season and
has two games thus far with at least eight receptions.
In a 27-14 loss to Mississippi State in Lexington, King
Number 11 Maxwell Smith, QB
6-2, 224 Soph.
Granada Hills, Cal. (Birmingham)
Marred by a pair of injuries this season,
Smith is a standout quarterback whom the
Wildcats hope to have back for Saturday
night’s game in Lexington. Only a sophomore,
Smith gives Kentucky the hope for a
competitive offense in the present – when
healthy – and the near future. Over the first
three games of the season, Smith twice
threw for over 300 yards and had a 280-
yard performance. He threw four touchdown
passes against Kent State, and in
those first three contests, totaled eight scoring
tosses. His 354 yards passing against
the Golden Flashes are the most by a Wildcat
signal caller since 2007. Smith proved
himself to be one of the SECs top freshmen
in 2011, throwing for 819 yards in eight appearances,
with three starts.
Number 40 Avery Williamson, LB
6-1, 254 Jr.
Milan, Tenn. (Milan H.S.)
One of the leading tacklers in the toughest league in
the land, Williamson has been a strong performer for
the Wildcats defense. He has double digit stops in
four games thus far this season. Williamson’s two
best performances came against Western Kentucky
and Mississippi State. In a stunning 32-31 loss to
the Hilltoppers, Williamson recorded a career-best 14
stops and made his second career interception.
Against Mississippi State, Williamson helped keep the
Wildcats in it with 13 tackles and he recorded an onsides
kick. He is one of the most improved up-andcomer
defenders in the league. Williamson didn’t
start a game last season, but still chalked up 49 tackles
and forced turnovers against both Florida and
South Carolina. As Kentucky tries to salvage its disappointing
season with a major upset or two and improve
defensively, Williamson will be leaned on
heavily as the centerpiece of the Wildcats stop unit.