Brooks Says Loyalty Defines UK's Senior Class

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) -- Kentucky coach Rich Brooks acknowledges saying goodbye to this year's crop of seniors will be even tougher than usual.

Four years ago, the Wildcats were riddled by probation and perennial bottom feeders of the Southeastern Conference. That's when hotly recruited quarterback Andre Woodson, linebacker Wesley Woodyard, receiver Keenan Burton and others decided to spurn offers from more established programs for a chance to turn this one around.

"Obviously they came in when it was very difficult," Brooks said.

Now, Kentucky (7-4, 3-4) will end a second straight season with a bowl appearance. First, it will try to improve its bowl draw by ending Tennessee's 22-game winning streak against the Wildcats Saturday.

Burton says Brooks may have the most tears on Senior Day Saturday, and the coach says he might be right.

"I've had some tears in my time," Brooks said. "It's a special group of young men. They've done some significant things."

Burton, who decided last year to put off his NFL dreams to build on last season's Music City Bowl victory, now ranks near the top of most Kentucky receiving records.

"Being on a team that is changing everything for the better is more special to me than all that," he said. "I'm just happy to help the team in any way possible."

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