Five key personnel losses for the football Cats

Five key players Kentucky has lost for season:

Maxwell Smith: Kentucky built its no-huddle, short-passing offense around the skills of its sophomore quarterback from California. Smith responded by completing 35 of 50 passes for 280 yards and two touchdowns against Louisville and 30 of 39 for 354 yards and four scores against Kent State. He was picked off four times against Western Kentucky, but rallied the Cats from a 24-10 deficit to a 31-24 lead in overtime before WKU prevailed 32-31. Smith suffered a shoulder injury against the Hilltoppers, however, missed the Florida game and played just two plays against Sout Carolina before tearing a ligament in his left ankle. He underwent surgery on Tuesday and is likely out for the year.

Josh Clemons: As a true freshman, the Georgia native was leading UK in rushing when he tore knee ligaments against South Carolina in 2011. He was supposed to return this fall, but swelling forced a second surgery that removed chips in the same knee. Behind in conditioning and practice reps, Clemons is being redshirted.

Marcus Caffey: The sophomore was moved from running back to cornerback in the spring and played well enough that defensive coordinator Rick Minter had penciled in the Alabama native as a starter for 2012. Alas, on media day, UK announced that Caffey was academically ineligible. He is still practicing with the team but cannot return to action until 2013.

Dakotah Tyler: The safety sat out last season because of personal issues, then returned this year to work his way up to a position of prominent playing time. The junior tore his ACL against South Carolina, however, and is now gone for the year. His loss isn’t helped by the fact that fellow safety Ashely Lowery has missed time while battling concussion symptoms.

CoShik Williams: The senior running back had his career ended prematurely by a torn labrum in his hip. The Georgia native came to UK as a walk-on, then worked his way up the depth chart until he stepped in as the No. 1 back last season when Josh Clemons was injured. Williams had a pair of 100+ yard rushing games in 2011. His 2012 was plagued by injuries until the torn labrum put him out for the season.

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