Lindley Returns for Senior Season

Jan. 14, 2009

LEXINGTON, Ky. – After exploring the possibility of entering the National Football League draft, All-America cornerback Trevard Lindley announced Wednesday that he will stay at Kentucky for his senior season in 2009.

Lindley has helped the Wildcats to winning seasons and bowl victories in each of his three years at UK, including a 25-19 triumph over East Carolina in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl on Jan. 2.

“I sat down with my family, and also talked to Coach Brooks, to discuss what I wanted to do,” Lindley said.  “I want to get bigger and stronger and continue to improve.”

Lindley also said that team goals for the coming year factored into his decision.

“We're trying to accomplish more than the last three seasons – compete for the SEC championship, go to another bowl and win it,” Lindley said.  The art studio major noted that staying in school will enable him complete his degree in May, with a tentative plan of going to graduate school or working toward a second major in the fall.

Bowl wins in three consecutive seasons was something never done before in the 118-season history of Wildcat football; going to a fourth-straight bowl would be another unprecedented feat if the Cats can reach post-season play in 2009.

Lindley has played a key role in the accomplishments of the last three years.  He has started every game from 2006-08, totaling a UK career-record 34 pass breakups, along with nine interceptions, seventh-best in school history.

As a junior in the '08 season, Lindley earned second-team All-America honors from the Walter Camp Football Foundation, third-team All-America from Phil Steele's College Football and was a consensus first-team All-Southeastern Conference choice.  He led the team with four interceptions and 11 pass breakups while leading the SEC in total passes defended with an average of 1.15 per game.

Additional highlights of Lindley's year included a 28-yard interception return for a touchdown vs. South Carolina and an interception of Florida's Tim Tebow, one of only two pickoffs the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner sustained during the '08 regular season.  Lindley also had an interception in the season opener at Louisville and returned it to the two-yard line, setting up a Kentucky touchdown.

Lindley has made numerous game-changing plays in his career, helping the team win at least seven games a season for the first time since 1949-50-51.  Here are additional crucial plays Lindley made in big Wildcat wins in 2006-07.

  • Game-clinching interception vs. Georgia in 2006
  • Acrobatic end-zone interception plus a fumble recovery in 2006 bowl win over Clemson
  • Interception and long return on first play of 2007 win over then-No. 9 Louisville
  • 66-yard fumble return for a touchdown in 2007 win at Arkansas
  • Fourth-quarter interception in 2007 win over No. 1 LSU, the eventual national champion
  • Caused a fumble and had three pass breakups in 2007 bowl win over Florida State

Lindley's decision means that all three Kentucky juniors who went through NFL draft evaluation, along with All-SEC defensive end Jeremy Jarmon and All-SEC linebacker Micah Johnson, have decided to return to the Wildcat lair in 2009.

“I advised Trevard that he should strongly consider his option (of going to the NFL) because he was rated fairly high,” Coach Rich Brooks said.  “I'm excited, and a little surprised, about his decision to return. 

“This enhances our chances of being a much better football team next year, when you have one of the top cornerbacks in the nation return.  With seniors like Trevard Lindley, Micah Johnson and Jeremy Jarmon, our defense should be very strong going into the 2009 season.”