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Good article on Trevard Lindley


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It's as harder to get Trevard Lindley to talk about himself than it is to complete passes against him.

And that is surprising because Lindley is an All-Southeastern Conference cornerback for Kentucky. He's probably the best cover corner in the league.

Photos by Butch Dill/Associated Press

Kentucky cornerback Trevard Lindley doesn't talk smack against foes, but he brings the smackdown to the field every game. He's the SEC's top cover man and he added 20 pounds in the offseason, making him even more menacing.

Wildcats coach Rich Brooks was pleasantly surprised when Lindley went against his advice to turn pro after his junior season.

"I can line him up against any receiver in the nation," Kentucky coach Rich Brooks said, "and we would have a very optimistic feeling that he's going to cover 'em pretty darned good the whole game."

Lindley doesn't need to yap because of his talent -- even though his favorite cornerbacks are loose-lipped former Heisman Trophy winner Charles Woodson of Michigan and smack-talking former Florida State standout Deion Sanders.

"If a receiver says something to me, I might say something back," Lindley said. "But I'll never just start talking."

He doesn't have to say anything; Lindley just makes plays week after week. Entering his senior season, he has started 39 straight games, has led UK in pass breakups his previous three seasons, and has topped the Wildcats in interceptions the last two years.

As a freshman in 2006, the Hirarn, Ga., native picked off a pass from future overall No. 1 NFL draft choice Matthew Stafford to preserve a 24-20 win over Georgia, UK's first win over the Bulldogs since 1996.

As a sophomore in 2007, he changed the momentum of a tight game at Arkansas, scooping up a fumble and running 66 yards for a TD in a 42-29 UK victory.

"I just saw the football on the ground and nobody else was running to it," Lindley said of his first college TD. "So I just went over, picked it up and started running. That seemed like the longest 66 yards I ever ran."

Last year, despite quarterbacks wisely throwing away from him, Lindley still managed 11 pass breakups and four interceptions. That was good enough to lead the league in passes defended and rank in the top 20 nationally.

After Kentucky beat East Carolina last season in the 50th AutoZone Liberty Bowl, Brooks, a former NFL head coach, advised Lindley to enter the NFL draft. He was a fourth-year junior about to graduate in art studio, and his draft grade indicated he would be picked either in the high second or low third round.

But Lindley, who played with a bum shoulder most of last year, felt he wanted to have surgery on the shoulder. And one of the negatives the scouts said about Lindley was his lack of size (170) at the end of last season.

So after meeting with Brooks, Lindley talked with his parents. He went to Brooks' office to deliver his decision to stay, and Brooks was pleasantly surprised.

"He felt he needed to get stronger and he has done that in the off-season," Brooks said. "He weighs about 190, which should help him this season and when he gets to the NFL.

"And he'll get there, because he has made as many big plays as any defensive player for Kentucky the last 15 or 20 years. The Stafford interception. The fumble recovery and TD run at Arkansas. Intercepting Clemson in the end zone in our first bowl win. They're all memorable plays."

Lindley wants to make more of them, one of reasons he came back for his senior year.

"It was a tough decision," Lindley said. "One day I was thinking I was leaving, the next day I was thinking I was staying. Coach thought it was best I leave, because he didn't want me to come back and get hurt.

"So when I told him, he had a big smile and said, 'Glad to have you back.' "

Lindley isn't worried about getting hurt. He's healthier, he's physically bigger and believes one last year in college football's premier conference can do nothing but raise his draft stock and prepare him for his next career step.

"You face good receivers every week in the SEC," Lindley said. "Some are short and quick, some are tall and strong. You have to believe in yourself that you can guard anybody."

Unfortunately he has gotten hurt this year (first time in his career he has missed games)and he might drop some because of it. I think he may end up as a 2nd/3rd rounder at the end of the year.

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C. Butler? K. Wilson? W. Thurmond? Syd'Quan T.? J. Murphy? P. Robinson?

Butler is good. Wilson is too short. Thrurmond's season is over and we don't know how well he will recover. Thompson is too short. Don't know much about Murphy. Robinson is overrated and is getting torched this year.

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