Cats find NFL homes

Published 2:03 pm Monday, April 29, 2024

Kentucky had two players taken in the third round of the NFL Draft late Friday night.

Defensive back Andru Phillips and linebacker Trevin Wallace were the first two Kentucky players chosen in this year’s draft. Phillips was taken at No. 70 by the New York Giants, while Wallace followed as the No. 72 pick by the Carolina Panthers.

It marked the sixth consecutive season and the first time since 1975-80 seasons Kentucky has had at least one player selected in the first three rounds of the draft. The Wildcats have had 12 players taken in the first three rounds since 2019, including first-round selections Josh Allen and Jamin Davis. Seven players were taken from 1975-80.

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Phillips played in 38 career games for the Wildcats and enjoyed a stellar junior season with 47 tackles – 1.5 for a loss — and five pass breakups.

Wallace also declared for the draft following his junior campaign and was a three-year letter winner. He collected 80 tackles last season, including 8.5 for a loss, 5.5 sacks, three quarterback hurries, a forced fumble and an interception

UK running back Ray Davis taken in fourth round

Kentucky running back Ray Davis was taken by the Buffalo Bills in the fourth round with the 128th pick overall.

In his only season with the Wildcats, Davis rushed for 1,129 yards and 21 touchdowns. He scored seven of those TDs after catching a pass out of the backfield which may have increased his value in the NFL.

Davis played at Temple and Vanderbilt before coming to Kentucky. He finished his career with 3,626 rushing yards and 41 touchdowns.

Leary to Baltimore

Kentucky senior quarterback Devin Leary was chosen in the sixth round by the Baltimore Ravens as the 218th overall pick in the 2024 National Football League Draft, it was announced Saturday in Detroit.

Leary, a 6-foot-1, 217-pound quarterback of Sicklerville, New Jersey, transferred to Kentucky in January of 2023 after four seasons at NC State. He went 17-9 as a starter and left NC State ranked sixth in school history in career passing yards (6,807) and fourth in career completion percentage (.602).

In 2022, he had the Wolfpack clicking on all cylinders to start the season with a 5-1 record and a top-15 national ranking. He completed 118-of-193 passes for 1,265 yards and 11 touchdowns when he suffered a tear in his right pectoralis major.

Following a surgery and almost a year of not playing, Leary returned to the gridiron in 2023 to lead the Wildcats to their school-record eighth consecutive bowl bid. He started all 13 games and threw for 2,746 yards, the ninth-highest single-season mark in Wildcat history, and 25 touchdowns passes which ranked second in the SEC. His 25 TD tosses were the most for a UK quarterback since Andre’ Woodson in 2007.

Leary finished his collegiate career with 9,553 yards and 87 career passing touchdowns.

UK Athletics contributed to this story.