Mikel Horton leaving UK Football


Kentucky running back Mikel Horton runs the ball towards the first down during the first half of the University of Kentucky vs. Missouri football game at Faurot Field in Columbia, MO., on Saturday, November 1, 2014. Photo by Jonathan Krueger

By Chris Angolia

Junior running back Mikel Horton is leaving the UK Football program. Multiple reports surfaced Tuesday night and were later confirmed by a UK Athletics spokesperson.

Horton, a native of West Chester, Ohio, was not seeing much time for the Cats in 2016 after carrying the ball over 50 times in each of his first two seasons in Lexington. It is more than likely that the junior running back is transferring due to his lack of playing time in 2016.

The lack of playing time had to do largely with the fact that freshman running back Benny Snell Jr. had emerged as a very good option in the UK backfield leaving Horton behind Snell, senior Jojo Kemp, and fellow junior Stanley ‘Boom’ Williams.

Horton gained a reputation as the ‘Big Back’ behind the smaller Williams and Kemp in his first two seasons and rushed for over 300 yards in each of his first two seasons. Over his two, he scored five TDs, all of which came on the ground and in 2015 added 140 receiving yards with the absence of Williams.

Coming into the year many felt as if Horton would play a big role for the UK offense especially in short yardage situations, but rather through four games this season has just three carries for 12 yards.

With Horton’s departure, the Cats’ backfield is now comprised of Williams, Kemp, Snell and sophomore Sihiem King, but it is clear that Williams, Kemp and Snell will be doing most of the work in the UK running game.