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Cobble ruled ineligible

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Redshirt freshman defensive tackle Mister Cobble, who was expected to be a key cog on the defensive line this year, has been ruled ineligible for the 2010 season, head coach Joker Phillips announced at Media Day on Friday.

Cobble did not pass enough hours to become academically eligible, Phillips said, but the Louisville, Ky., native (Central High School) will remain on UK's football team on scholarship as he hopes to return to the team for the 2011 season.

"We were counting on him, there's no question about that," Phillips said. "But Operation Win means we want to win in the classroom, and we had over 30 guys that had a 3.0 (grade-point average). We had three that had a 4.0. So the majority of our team is buying in.

"I said the guys who don't buy in, they'll either be not with us or they'll be the best-conditioned player," Phillips said. "He's going to be a well-conditioned player when it's all over with because he's got to get the message. He's got to get with us."

Without Cobble, an already inexperienced defensive line will become that much thinner. Senior Ricky Lumpkin (16 career starts) and junior Mark Crawford (zero career starts) have some game experience, but behind them lies uncertainty.

Phillips emphasized that UK has plenty of bodies at defensive tackle.

"Depth-wise, I think we'll be OK inside," Phillips said. "I really do."

Freshman Donte Rumph, who was recently ruled eligible after a two-year wait, is expected to cushion the blow. Phillips said at last week's Governor's Cup Luncheon that Rumph is extremely out of shape, but at 6-foot-3, 265 pounds, Rumph could be a valuable body.

"He's not a young guy," Phillips said. "He's an inexperienced guy at this level, but he's not a young guy by any means. We think we'll be fine in that area."

UK will also likely be without another Central High School product in linebacker Tim Patterson. Phillips said they have not received his evaluation back from the NCAA, plus Patterson is still recovering from injury.

"If you guys can remember, he had knee surgery in December," Phillips said. "He will continue to rehab that. We'll continue to evaluate his injury and see if he can get himself healthy enough to come in and compete. If not, we'll hold him until January, so that's still up in the air."

Incoming freshmen Tim McAdoo (defensive lineman), Farrington Huguenin (linebacker) and Jabari Johnson (linebacker) have also been ruled ineligible.

McAdoo will attend a two-year junior college, Huguenin will attend a school in North Carolina and Johnson is close enough to being eligible that he will remain at UK.

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