In a never-ending quest to seek as much information as my brain can store, it's time to get to know a little bit more (or just anything at all) about one of the Southeastern Conference's football players. Now when this player succeeds, massively fails or is shown milling around in the background of a TV shot, you'll know that his greatest off-the-field accomplishment involves the sale and transportation of hobos. Or something like that.
The team of the player selected is chosen through a super-secret process which I cannot reveal, however, the number of the player is randomly chosen by visiting www.random.org and using whatever number they give me.
Today's number: 96
Today's team: Kentucky
#96 Collins Ukwu, DE, Kentucky
Also in more active, larger and hidden form, chasing quarterback Morgan Newton:
Some background information: A redshirt sophomore heading into the 2010 season, Collins saw the field on the field in all 13 games last year, starting three of them. Also, his name is pronounced "OOk-woo," which is extremely fun to say. Sort of sounds like an Ewok word if anyone could understand just what the hell those things say.
Greatest on-field accomplishment: I call it a tie: He had one sack against Florida (not the one that knocked out Tim Tebow) and three games in which he had three tackles.
Greatest off-the-field accomplishment: While redshirting his freshman year, he was named scout team player of the week three times. While those performances took place on a field, technically they did not occur on the real field. Plus, I could find nothing else on him.
Way(s) in which he has embarrassed himself, his family, team and school: Collins has walked nothing but the straight and narrow.
Strengths: Athleticism, speed and plays hard according to his coach, Joker Philips. From a spring practice report, "Collins Ukwu is leading with the way he has been playing. He is playing full speed and playing fast..."
Weaknesses: Lack of experience, the rest of the defense isn't very good and from that same spring practice report, "...he is not a communicator or a big talker. We need a guy who is going to step up and be a guy that grabs them by the throat and gets them back in the huddle for us and get them rallied up when things aren’t going good."
What to expect in 2010: From my 10 minutes of research, it appears that Collins will be a major contributor next season. It doesn't sound like he'll start every game, but will play in passing situations and is being counted on for solid depth in Kentucky's defensive end rotation. I know "solid depth" and "Kentucky" probably don't belong in the same sentence without use of the phrase "lack of," but I'll give the Wildcats a break since it's only April. So on the rare occasions Kentucky's defense creates a third and long for their opponent, look for number 96 on your television. And if Kentucky makes it to a 2:30 CBS telecast, be prepared to enjoy the pipes of Verne Lundquist putting forth the sound of "OOk-woo."