Fort White's Legree focused on making plays for 'Cats


Published: Saturday, September 28, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, September 27, 2013 at 7:24 p.m.

Kentucky sophomore receiver A.J. Legree is keeping his emotions in check heading into tonight’s showdown with Florida.

A Fort White native and former Gainesville Sun area player of the year, Legree grew up 40 miles from UF’s campus.

“I see it just like every week, another great opportunity,” Legree said. “But it being a team from close to home, it gives me a little more excitement.”

Legree has taken advantage of his opportunities so far with the Wildcats. As a true freshman last season, Legree had 12 catches for 113 yards. Through three games this season, Legree has one catch for 18 yards and two special teams tackles.

Legree said the transition from former coach Joker Phillips to current coach Mark Stoops has been positive. The Wildcats are running a more up-tempo offense under first-year offensive coordinator Neal Brown. Coming off a bye week, Kentucky is 1-2 heading into its Southeastern Conference opener with the Gators.

“Everything’s been fast-paced,” Legree said. “I just can’t wait until we get really rolling. We’re just working on getting better every day, and focusing on us mostly.”

A former state champion high jumper, Legree said he spent the offseason trying to get stronger and faster to prepare for his second season in the SEC. He returned to Fort White briefly during the offseason to work out with former teammates.

Legree said he’ll be hearing plenty from family members and friends who are UF fans.

His dad, Alfonso Brown, is a big Gator fan, but was proud to see his son sign with Kentucky.

“He was excited and happy,” Legree said. “He’s just as much a Kentucky fan as a Gator fan, but he’s probably split in half right now.”

Something else you may not know about Legree — he’s a pro wrestling buff. On his bio on the Kentucky website, Legree said his goal one day is to become a professional wrestler.

“I was just kidding about that,” Legree said. “You know how they have those big bulky bodies and stuff like that. That’s why I said it.”

Legree said his favorite pro wrestlers growing up were The Rock (Dwayne Johnson) and Goldberg (Bill Goldberg). Both were former college football players — Johnson at Miami and Goldberg at Georgia.

At 189 pounds, though, Legree doesn’t see a future for himself wearing tights. Instead, he’s focusing on making plays downfield for Kentucky against the Gators.

“We feel like it’s a great opportunity for us against a great team,” Legree said.

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