UK Football: Stoops, Brown sold Ryan Timmons on Kentucky
Franklin County senior Ryan Timmons hugs his mother, Melinda Watts as his sisters Raven, left, and Teairra Timmons and his grandmother Carrie Watts react to Timmons¿ decision to play football at the Univ (Dylan Buell/Frankfort State Journal / February 6, 2013)
“The defense has to be good for me to get the ball, so I liked his defense,” said Timmons Tuesday after announcing he would sign with Kentucky over Florida, Ohio State and Illinois.
Timmons had mind-boggling numbers in his three-year career at Franklin. He had 172 carries for 3,146 yards and 51 scores; 101 receptions for 2,679 yards and 51 scores; three kickoff returns for scores and one interception return for a touchdown. That’s 277 touches for 6,268 yards — and average of 22.6 yards per touch — and 106 touchdowns.
The Franklin standout already knew plenty about new UK offensive coordinator Neal Brown. Franklin runs the same offense that Brown employs and Franklin offensive coordinator Eddie James works summer camps with Brown.
“I have been running that offense since seventh grade. I¿am comfortable in it and we went over plays on my visit and I¿already knew them,” Timmons said. “Me and coach Brown get along well. He has a great offense and we had a great connection. We use the same plays.”
Even though Timmons liked former UK¿coach Joker Phillips, he says the Wildcats were not on his radar then because he didn’t like the offense and its potential.
“I looked at the offense and could not see myself fitting in,” Timmons said.
With Brown, it was just the opposite.
“He really sees me as a playmaker, someone who can play slot receiver, play inside and move into the backfield some also,” Timmons said. “He wants to score every time we get a chance. Me and coach Brown hit it off from the first day.”
Still, he tried to weigh the pros and cons — like the weather in Florida — into his decision making before he realized last Thursday that UK was the spot for him.
“It got really stressful at times. I was at a point I did not know where I¿wanted to go, but I¿did enjoy the recruiting and going to different schools,” Timmons said. “I could not say anything bad about any of the schools. It was kind of tough telling Joker (he wasn’t coming to Florida). He thought I was coming and was kind of disappointed. But he said he understood.”
Timmons admitted he was “relieved” to have the process over. He got so emotional during his announcement in front of students and friends that he cried several times and needed a pat on the back from coach Chris Tracy to continue. He had his mother, grandmother and two sisters sitting with him, but says he never expected to be so emotional.
“Coach Tracy told me I would be emotional, but I told him he did not know what he was talking about,” Timmons laughed and said. “I have seen coach Tracy tear up twice in three years. I knew this was something special to him and my family and that’s when it (the tears) just came out.
“I am real close to my family. They have not missed a football game ever. Well, they did one time when my (twin) sister had a basketball game. But I¿am looking forward to them watching me play.”
However, he said his mother, Melinda Watts, never pressured him on where to go.
“My mom never told me. She never said any school. She never suggested any school. That helped me a lot. There was no pressure to make her happy,” Timmons said.
But Timmons grew up a Kentucky fan and his grandmother, Karrie Watts, said she always felt he would go to Kentucky even though he did not tell her until he made the public announcement.
“I¿hope she’s happy,” Timmons said.
“I am just thrilled he is going to Kentucky. I just knew that is what he was going to do and I could not be prouder of him,” she said. “Now we can all keep watching him play.”