Farrington Huguenin proved that patience pays off.
After having offers from South Carolina State, North Carolina Central and North Carolina A&T, the Dreher defensive end waited on an offer from a bigger school and when one came from Kentucky on Friday, he quickly committed.
He went on an official visit to Kentucky the weekend of Jan. 15 and the rangy 6-4, 235-pounder signed with the Wildcats on Wednesday. He was the first Dreher player to sign with a FCS school since Tremaine Billie signed with Clemson.
The Wildcats had been recruiting Huguenin for a while, with new UK head coach Joker Phillips being his primary recruiter.
“I had decided early on that is where I wanted to go,” Huguenin said after signing with Kentucky in the school cafeteria Wednesday morning. “But I just waited on an offer to come. I though all along I would get an offer.”
Huguenin was receiving interest from South Carolina, Clemson and Michigan State early in the process but academics might have been an issue for those schools. He had to make up some core course work and he still is hoping attain a qualifying score on the ACT or SAT.
If he had not gotten the offer from Kentucky, he was probably going to sign with South Carolina State.
“I had a bunch of colleges offer but I think some of my academics deterred them,” Huguenin said.
Huguenin burst on the scene after a solid junior year in which he had 82 tackles and 11 sacks. Bill Bacon, Dreher’s head coach in his three years starting for the Blue Devils, moved Huguenin from defensive end to linebacker before the start of his senior season.
He registered 121 tackles, three forced fumbles and an interception even though Bacon told him the move could cost him in the recruiting process. He also played tight end and some wide receiver on offense. But his future is on defense.
“When we talked to Farrington about the move, he understood it might hurt him recruiting-wise,” Bacon said. “But he wanted to do what was best for the team and you don’t get young men doing that too often anymore.”
Bacon knew all along he had a special talent.
“We knew he was a Division I talent,” Bacon said. “He got his grades where they finally needed to be and coach Phillips stuck with him the whole time. I think Kentucky stole one from the state of South Carolina.”
If Huguenin qualifies, he has no qualms about redshirting. But he is looking to get his career started quickly.
“I know I need to get in the weight room and get stronger,” Huguenin said. “Hopefully I can play early but that is a decision the coaches have to make after I get there.”