NFL Update: Wildcats Confirm Free-Agent Signings
April 27, 2009
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Defensive tackle Myron Pryor was selected by the New England Patriots in the sixth round of the National Football League Draft and six additional Wildcats have confirmed free-agent signings with NFL clubs.
Pryor was a three-year starter at UK, totaling 118 tackles, 20 tackles for loss and 11.5 quarterback sacks during his career. He also caused six fumbles and made three fumble recoveries.
Pryor was named first-team All-Southeastern Conference as a senior by CollegeFootballNews.com and second-team All-SEC by The Associated Press, SEC Coaches, Rivals.com and Phil Steele's College Football. He was the SEC Defensive Player of the Week in the season opener at Louisville, causing a fumble that was returned for a touchdown and also returning a fumble 72 yards for a TD.
Pryor (Louisville, Ky.) closed his Kentucky career with a bang, tallying a career-high seven tackles, a tackle for loss and a pass breakup against East Carolina in the 2009 AutoZone Liberty Bowl. He also knocked loose the fumble that Ventrell Jenkins returned for the game-winning touchdown in UK's 25-19 victory. He was named to the "All-Bowl Team" by CollegeFootballNews.com.
Pryor is the first Wildcat chosen by New England since 1994, when linebacker Marty Moore was picked. Moore went on to an eight-year NFL career, including seven seasons with the Patriots.
Following the draft, six Wildcats have confirmed that they have signed free-agent contracts.
- DE Ventrell Jenkins, Buffalo Bills. After playing as a defensive tackle his first three seasons, Jenkins (Columbia, S.C.) moved to end as a senior and had a career-high 43 stops. Jenkins was SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week in the win at Mississippi State and capped his career as the Most Valuable Player of the AutoZone Liberty Bowl when he returned a fumble 56 yards for the game-winning touchdown. He totaled 102 tackles, 15 tackles for loss and 9.5 QB sacks as a Wildcat.
- CB David Jones, Baltimore Ravens. Jones (Red Jacket, W.Va.) played cornerback, wide receiver and was a special-teams star at Kentucky. As a senior he notched 34 tackles, one interception and five pass breakups. He opened the second half of the AutoZone Liberty Bowl with a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, reversing the momentum of the game and sparking UK's comeback victory. A dash champion in high school, Jones' outstanding speed gave him a 4.34 clocking in the 40-yard dash on UK's Pro Day.
- P/K Tim Masthay, Indianapolis Colts. A four-year starting punter, Masthay (Murray, Ky.) improved his average each season, culminating in a senior campaign in which he led the SEC and ranked fifth nationally with a 45.2-yard average. As a kickoff man, he led the SEC in touchbacks in 2007 and was second in the league in 2008. An economics major with a 3.82 career grade-point average, Masthay was a first-team Academic All-American. Dedicated to community service, he was one of 11 players named to the National Good Works Team and after football, his goal is to join the Peace Corps and serve in Africa.
- FS Marcus McClinton, New England Patriots. A three-year starter, McClinton (Fort Campbell, Ky.) totaled 181 tackles and nine pass breakups as a Wildcat. He intercepted 10 passes during his career, ranking fourth in school history.
- OT Garry Williams, Carolina Panthers. Williams (Louisville, Ky.) was a three-year starter at left tackle, the blindside protector for UK's right-handed starting quarterbacks. He earned second-team All-SEC selection as a junior and senior. As a senior, gave up just one quarterback sack and led an offensive line that ranked fourth in the nation in fewest sacks allowed.
- LB Johnny Williams, Jacksonville Jaguars. Williams signed with his hometown Jacksonville team. He was a three-year starter at strongside linebacker, notching 131 tackles in his career, including 13 tackles for loss. As a senior, Williams played a rush end position on passing downs and led the team with five quarterback sacks.
Season Ticket Renewal Deadline is May 1: The deadline for renewal of 2009 Kentucky football season tickets is Friday, May 1. Tickets may be renewed on the Internet at UKathletics.com, in person at the UK Athletics Ticket Office or by mail.