In another blow to Kentucky football this season, head coach Joker Phillips announced at yesterday’s media day that cornerback Marcus Caffey will be academically ineligible for the 2012 season. The 5’11″ 192-pound Caffey came in at tailback, but found success when moved to the cornerback position during his Freshman redshirt season. Marcus will remain a part of the program and continue to practice, but will not be on the field this year.
“I’ve always said the hardest thing about being a freshman is to get them to be sophomores,” Phillips revealed at Media Day. “We have an academic casualty in Marcus Caffey. Marcus Caffey is ineligible for the 2012 season.” In a team that’s already ailing and projected near the bottom of the conference, any news regarding ineligibility is bad news. Phillips rightfully seemed reluctant to discuss the issue, adding that “I don’t want to answer any questions about the Marcus Caffey deal. That’s it. We move on.”
Joker Phillips did inform onlookers that to cover the missing spot, safety Martavius Neloms will be moving to corner to replace Caffey. “Martavius Neloms two years ago lined up at corner,” Phillips said. “You want to try to get your best players on the field. Martavious Neloms was the best option to move to safety. He was the most physical guy. So we moved him to safety [last] year. It’s now turned to where our better players are at safety. When you start thinking about moving a guy to lineup your corner, Martavius, because he’s played there a couple of years, he is probably the most athletic safety that we have. We’ll move him to the [corner] position.”
Neloms played in 10 games last season, ranking third on the team in tackles with 71. He will likely perform well on the corner, but the situation is still far from ideal. Ashely Lowery, Mikie Benton, and even the returned Dakotah Tyler will be forced to pick up the slack at safety, but Phillips seems confident in his leftover safeties.
It’s a shame any time a player is unable to play, but only time will tell how this particular loss affects a long season.
Filed Under: Football
About the Author: Corey Tincher is a lifelong Kentucky fan and professional writer who couldn't keep the two worlds apart. He is the lead contributor for StraitCats.com and literally wrote the book on the 2012 NCAA Tournament Championship run, Big Blue Articles: Kentucky Basketball in the 2012 NCAA Tournament. Follow @Corey_Tincher on Twitter for more Kentucky news and discussion.