Posted: 8:54 am Wednesday, March 10th, 2010
By Jason Lieser
Brett Thiesen was content to go to Kentucky even before the Wildcats offered him a spot on the football team. Thiesen, a senior who played wide receiver for Jensen Beach last season, said he applied to LSU and Kentucky for academics, the chance to experience something new and, “I wanted to watch big football games.”
He might end up playing in them.
Kentucky did not offer Thiesen (5-10, 150) a football scholarship, but he said Wildcats coach Joker Phillips has guaranteed him a roster spot.
“It’s considered a walk-on, but they’ve told me I have a roster spot and I don’t have to try out,” Thiesen said. “Coach Phillips said he liked me and he’d love to have me on the team.”
Barring something unforeseen, the Wildcats will not be able to give Thiesen a football scholarship for the upcoming academic year, but he could play his way into one for the following year.
He has not signed a national letter of intent and does not need to do so because he is not accepting a scholarship. Thiesen said he will visit Kentucky next weekend during its spring practices.
When Kentucky became Thiesen’s first choice academically, he asked Jensen Beach coach Lance Jenkins to look into the possibility of playing football there.
Thiesen also recruited the help of Dwyer coach Jack Daniels. One of Daniels’ assistant coaches, Ed Geiger, is friends with Thiesen’s father, and Kentucky signed Dwyer running back Donald Russell last year.
Thiesen’s father spoke with Phillips about a month ago and the conversations gradually led to a non-scholarship offer.
“If they weren’t interested, I still would’ve tried to walk on for the hell of it,” Thiesen said. “But they said the odds of me earning a scholarship [the second year] are very high.”
In 2009, Thiesen caught 34 passes for 733 yards and eight touchdowns and was an all-area selection.