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Smith, Warford together again at Pro Day

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For three seasons, center Matt Smith and guard Larry Warford lined up next to one another on the Kentucky offensive line.

With the two exhausting their collegiate eligibility in November, those times were at end. Smith and Warford went to different collegiate all-star games in pursuit of NFL careers and they couldn't help but miss one another's presence.

"He said he was a little timid on reaching too far with things because he didn't know if that guy was going to be right behind him like he knew that I would," Smith said of his teammate.

On Thursday at UK's annual Pro Day, Smith and Warford were working together again.

Twenty-seven scouts representing 25 NFL teams and one from the CFL were in attendance at the Nutter Field House to watch 15 former Wildcats be measured and go through athletic and positional testing drills. They saw running back CoShik Williams bench press 225 pounds an impressive 20 times. They saw Morgan Newton both throw passes as a quarterback and catch them as a tight end.

But with the reunion of the interior of UK's offensive line going on during positional drills, many eyes were on Smith and Warford.

"It's just like we never stopped," Smith said. "Spending three years with him, you get to know each other and know everything about each other."

After so many games together, Smith and Warford can't help but think about playing together again at the next level.

"It would be awesome if we could end up on the same team together again and play again, but you never know what'll happen," Smith said.

Warford was the most highly touted of the Cats participating. The decorated guard has heard draft projections from anywhere between the second and fourth rounds and was UK's lone attendee at last month's NFL Combine. Having already done the 40-yard dash, bench press and other events at the combine, he opted to participate only in positional drills.

It was there that Warford and Smith did work at both guard and center. Warford played exclusively at right guard at UK, but has shown the versatility to play both guard spots and center, an attribute he has found to be quite valuable in the draft process.

"You only get seven active linemen in any NFL game, so you have to be able to play different positions," Warford said.

Though Smith hasn't gotten the same attention as Warford, he's drawing interest after demonstrating the ability to play guard. Smith also didn't hurt his cause by registering 28 reps on the bench press in spite of missing nearly three weeks of time in the weight room due a chest injury he sustained in the Texas vs. the Nation All-Star Game.

Since returning from their respective all-star games, Smith and Warford have worked out together as often as possible in Lexington, often with Rock Oliver at the Joe Craft Center. Because both Smith and Warford are still around Lexington, they are well aware of the enthusiasm surrounding the football program since the arrival of Mark Stoops.

"I'm really excited for it," Smith said. "I wish I had another year to play here again just to see what Coach Stoops is all about."

Of course they wish they could have played in front of a spring game crowd that figures to exceed 40,000. But more than anything else, they are excited for their former teammates and the program they've come to love so much.

"I'm so happy for them," Warford said. "I want to see them get the recognition and I want this to turn into a football school."

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