Phillips Welcomes Porter; Melillo Sidelined with Sprained Ankle

Aug. 16, 2010

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Head coach Joker Phillips and the University of Kentucky football team welcomed the Wildcats' newest addition, Elliott Porter, a defensive tackle from Waggaman, La., to the practice field Monday. A former LSU signee, Porter has joined UK in fall camp.

“It is big (to have Porter join the team),” Phillips said. “Very seldom in August do you get a chance to find a 6-foot-4, 290-pound guy. We will try to get him in the best shape that we possible can before we decide if he can help us.”

Phillips said that the addition of Porter is similar to the addition to freshman defensive lineman Donte Rumph, saying that they will have to find out what condition Porter is in and catch him up to speed mentally as well.

“He is similar to (Donte) Rumph in that his first four days will be two in shorts and two in shells (helmets and shoulder pads) for us to get him in the best shape that we can,” Phillips said. “We need to get him mentally up to speed with the rest of the guys to, but he is a really sharp kid and he picks it up quickly.”

Phillips said the addition of Porter adds depth to a defensive line position that must have depth.

“That is why it is big,” Phillips said. “The thing is that we do have numbers at the defensive line now. The defensive line meeting room is about 20 guys and you need 20 in this league. We still have to find out who can help us this year, but this freshman class of defensive linemen, with the addition of Porter, gives us a really solid class. Nermin Delic and Donte Rumph are guys that we think can help us this year, we now need to find out if Elliott Porter can.”

In other news on Monday, the Wildcats could miss junior tight end Nick Melillo for around a week because of an ankle sprain. Phillips said he expects the Louisville native to be out “at least a week.” Freshman running back Miles Simpson is out with the same injury as Melillo.

“We are a little banged up but we still have some depth at the tight end position,” the first-year head coach said. “We have a lot of young freshmen that are getting some reps because of Melillo being out. Tyler Robinson continues to show up and now he will get even more reps with Melillo being out.”