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Freshman M.J. Devonshire wants to “play and learn” this year

M.J. Devonshire said at Media Day that he thought he could make a contribution as a true freshman this year. (Vicky Graff Photo)


If you really got excited in February when Kentucky added Pennsylvania defensive back M.J. Devonshire to its recruiting class you really know your football.

He was Kentucky’s only signee in the late signing period and even though he was a four-star player with big-time offers. However, guess who is now taking reps with the first team at cornerback. That’s right, Devonshire.

So is it possible for a true freshman to play in the secondary this year, especially since UK is missing its top six players (five to graduation, one to injury)?

“Definitely I want to play and learn from guys ahead of me. It’s not as much about starting as just getting some playing time and trying to get on the field and learn from everybody ahead of me,” Devonshire said.

He noted that defensive back is a tough, demanding position for a player of any age or experience level.

“Defensive back is a tough position for a freshman, senior, veteran in the NFL,” Devonshire said. “You have got to have a short memory and be able to move on from things. You are going to get beat. You have to face adverse situations and get through them.

“You can never really be experienced as a DB. Always something new to learn. Receivers get better every day and they learn different releases and new things. As a corner you have to learn and perfect what they do and just get better with it every day.”

If Devonshire does become a solid contributor to the UK defense this year, just remember part of the reason he picked Kentucky over a lot of other offers.

“I like being away from home and taking trips. The heat … I know it gets cold in Kentucky but our away games we will be going to Florida, going to Georgia, Texas, Louisiana. Places in the SEC playing in the heat,” Devonshire said. “Loved campus and people, too. It was just different at Kentucky and playing in the heat is just fine with me.”


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  1. I look forward to seeing this young man play. He sounds like he is locked and loaded. He has a great opportunity with the vacant positions in the secondary.

    1. Very confident but also very, very talented

  2. Speed kills and this kid is definitely a burner. Can hardly wait to see him teamed up with Andru Phillips and Valentine.

    1. All I have heard about him has really impressed me

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