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July 21, 2011HOOVER, Ala. - It's not enough to lay licks. Danny Trevathan wants to return kicks.
The Kentucky linebacker said Thursday at Southeastern Conference Media Days that he wants to put his name in the hat as the Wildcats search for a kick returner.
Trevathan isn't the typical kick-return candidate. The 6-foot-1, 232-pound senior led the SEC in tackles last season with 144, and he's known more as a big hitter than a big-play specialist.
"I'm going to try it," Trevathan told reporters. Several of them laughed.
Trevathan grinned a little, but he insisted he's serious about contributing on kick returns. Former UK coach Rich Brooks let him have a go in a Blue/White Scrimmage once, and Trevathan made a big play in the return game.
"I had a real good opportunity until I broke my hand," Trevathan said. "I couldn't run with the ball. But I'm going to try to take (the job)."
Kentucky is in need of a return man after the loss of last season's top two kick returners, Randall Cobb and Derrick Locke.
It remains to be seen how serious Trevathan's coaches are about giving him the opportunity to win it, but Trevathan said coach Joker Phillips told him "if I want it so bad, try to take it."
"I hope he is (serious)," Trevathan said. "I'm practicing at it."
Joker: Faulkner expected to qualify
UK still is awaiting word on the eligibility of freshman Glenn Faulkner, whom Rivals.com ranked the No. 8 safety in the high school class of 2011, but Phillips said he expects to have Faulkner available this season.
"Faulkner, they're still gathering some documents," Phillips said. "He's finished all the work that he needs to do. It's going to the evaluation stage."
Most of UK's freshmen have been on campus this summer, and Phillips expressed confidence that the entire class will qualify.
"There's a couple guys that have some things they had to get done this summer," Phillips said. "They're on track to do those things, and we expect them all to be there."
McIntosh on scholarship
Former walk-on Craig McIntosh has left Kentucky's ROTC program to focus on football, Phillips said, and he's been awarded a football scholarship.
McIntosh, a junior from Lexington, won the starting kicker's job last season and made 11-of-15 field-goal tries and 34-of-35 extra-point attempts. Phillips called McIntosh's scholarship "much deserved."
"It was a shocker to me (he left ROTC)," Phillips said. "We accommodated him and his obligations that he had with the military. I loved the fact that he was there. I think it spoke volumes to our other kids. The guy goes from an early morning run with the ROTC, leaves that, comes and runs with us."