Larry Warford, RG, Kentucky:
When you think of the University of Kentucky, you definitely think of a history of winning. Unfortunately, the winning most people think of has occurred on the basketball court and not on the football field. John Calipari just hoisted his first title in the Commonwealth State but has competed at the highest level wherever he has coached. For Kentucky football coach Joker Phillips, winning like his counterpart may be something that seems so far away.
Joker Phillips has amassed an 11-14 record in two years at Kentucky, and moving forward to the start of the 2012 season, wins are going to be hard to come by once again. Phillips will once again have one of the youngest, inexperienced teams in the Southeastern Conference, and he lost his two top tacklers on defense, not a good formula for competing in the best conference in the country. What Phillips will have on his offense is an experienced leader in right guard Larry Warford.
Warford returns for his senior year to be the leader of an offensive line that lost three starters from their 2011 squad. He has started every game since his sophomore year, where he led the Wildcats in knock down blocks with 43. As a sophomore, Warford was a key cog in an offensive line that allowed the second fewest sacks in the SEC. He was named a Sophomore All American and was also a 2nd Team All SEC performer.
As a junior, Warford was noticeably quicker and faster. He worked hard during the summer of 2011 in an effort to prepare for the NFL. After a solid junior season, Warford must now anchor an offensive line that will be very inexperienced.
This season, Kentucky will face eight teams that were selected for bowls in 2011. They will begin the season with the annual “Battle for the Commonwealth Cup” versus the Louisville Cardinals. Phillips will hope Warford can lead this offense, that was one of the worst in the nation in 2011.