La’Rod King, WR, Kentucky:
Joke Phillips enters his third season on the job in Lexington, Kentucky. Phillips hasn’t faired very well in his first two campaigns, going just 11-14. The 2012 version of the Wildcats returns 11 starters and will be looking to replace two big time players on defense in Danny Trevathan and Winston Guy. One bright spot for coach Phillips is his wide receiving corp that returns sophomore Demarco Robinson and senior playmaker La’Rod King.
King has played in 36 career games in Lexington, starting 18. He has 86 career receptions for 1,218 yards. King is coming off his best year in 2011, where as a junior, he caught 40 balls for 598 yards and seven touchdowns. Not bad numbers for a Kentucky offense, that at times in 2011, just looked plain lost. King has all the tools to play at the next level and he doesn’t mind going across the middle catching the ball in traffic.
King will have a new position coach in 2012. Pat Washington will take the reigns left by the departed Tee Martin, who left Lexington and became the new wide receiver’s coach at USC. Washington has a wealth of experience around the SEC. A former quarterback at Auburn under Pat Dye, and most recently was the wide receiver’s coach at Tennessee.
The schedule sets up for Kentucky to have some success in 2012, as they have seven home games. They will however, start on the road September 2 versus instate rival Louisville. After that is a two game home stand in which the Wildcats have no room for error. Kent State comes to Lexington on September 8, followed by Western Kentucky on September 16. Road trips to Florida, Arkansas, Missouri and Tennessee highlight the rest of the season. Home games versus South Carolina, Mississippi State, Georgia, Vanderbilt and Samford will be crucial if the Wildcats are going to make a run at a bowl.