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May 13, 2011Kentucky is making a recruiting push for two-way Atlanta football prospect Stephen Weatherly, who has a couple strong ties to the team - a former coach of his is now on UK's staff and his cousin plays for the Wildcats.
Weatherly, a 6-foot-4, 200-pound player for North Atlanta High School, is being recruited as a speed-rushing defensive end or linebacker by some schools and as a tall, fast wide receiver by others, including UK.
Wide receivers coach/pass game coordinator Tee Martin is UK's primary recruiter for Weatherly, and he said Martin came by his school a couple weeks ago.
Martin was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at North Atlanta High School for one season when Weatherly was a freshman, so they've known each for a few years.
His cousin Eric Simmons, a product of Atlanta's Westlake High School, is a redshirt freshman defensive bback for the Cats.
The Wildcats made Weatherly a scholarship offer a few weeks ago, he said. It's one of many he has from BCS-league schools, spanning multiple conferences.
"All the schools are pretty even right now because I'm still getting offers," he said. "I haven't started evaluating them yet."
Weatherly told Rivals' OrangeandBlueNews.com that Illinois are one of the top three schools on his list, and when asked by CatsIllustrated what his other top two are he said, "probably Vanderbilt and (Georgia) Tech maybe" and said that top three is in no order.
When asked where Kentucky would fit in on his list, Weatherly said, "Definitely in the top five, probably No. 4."
Weatherly, who is ranked the No. 49 junior in Georgia by UGASports.com and has multiple BCS-league offers, said he stays in weekly contact with Martin either by phone or email.
"I know his coaching style," said Weatherly, who added that Martin told him he probably would revisit North Atlanta sometime in the coming weeks. "He's a real cool guy, and he really knows how to teach you something. ... It's good knowing him on the staff because I know what I'm getting myself in to.
"... We've talked like a handful of times since (Martin left North Atlanta), but since the start of recruiting we've been talking more and more often."
Weatherly was at UK last fall to watch the Wildcats' home game against Georgia and to visit Simmons.
"Everything he says about Kentucky is really good," Weatherly said. "He praises it a lot."
The UK visit in October was a brief one, but Weatherly said he liked the campus.
"We didn't get to see the whole campus, but what I got to see was really good," he said. "Tee Martin took me around on a quick tour on a golf cart to see the facilities and where the team meets and stuff. I really enjoyed it. I'm going to try to get back up there at some point."
Weatherly said he's likely to be back in Lexington sometime this summer, and he plans to commit to a school before the first game of his senior season, possibly in August.
Which position he'll play in college is undetermined as he's considered a weapon on offense and defense.
"Personally, wherever I'll benefit the team most is where I'll play - offense or defense - but probably if I had the choice would be something like outside linebacker," he said. "But I'm perfectly comfortable playing both (defense or wide receiver)."
He said UK wants him for offense and that Martin said the Cats like "my quickness and my route-running ability."
Weatherlyl has been timed in the 40-yard dash at 4.47 seconds, according to UGASports.com.
"My quickness, my speed, my football IQ I would say are my top strengths as a football player," he said.
He added that on defense " I love to get sacks."