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Kentucky Wildcats Football: Spring Update

La'Rod King is the Wildcats most productive offensive returnee.  Can he be the leader Kentucky will surely need?
La'Rod King is the Wildcats most productive offensive returnee. Can he be the leader Kentucky will surely need?

Here is a little Kentucky Football news for you all to skip over while you wait for tonight's signing day news.

The Kentucky Wildcats have reached the midway point in spring practice and, as promised, there is very little news out of Lexington thus far. Last week brought some positives as Patrick Towles used his spring break at Ft. Thomas Highlands to attend meetings and practices. Though he was not allowed to practice, he tweeted that he hoped to pick up the offense from "osmosis". If nothing else, we know Towles comes in with a college man's vocabulary.

Three defensive Wildcats have reportedly left the team. DE Nermin Delic has been removed for disciplinary reasons and LBs Tim Patterson and Justin Henderson have decided to transfer. Delic was slated to contribute this year but has been somewhat of a mess since arriving on campus a couple of years ago. You may recall that he quit the team last fall, only to decide to return a couple of weeks later. This forced him to miss the season. Patterson was highly recruited coming out of Central High School in Louisville, but was buried in the depth chart after failing to hit his stride as a Wildcat. He had not seen the field. I wish these guys luck but hope that the defections are addition by subtraction as opposed to a sign of general unrest among the defensive players.

This happens in every program, and to me it is no cause for alarm.

Joker indicated Monday that WR DeMarco Robinson, who played some as a true freshman last year, has taken over a starting spot and will be getting a number of reps at wideout. Robinson impressed in fall practices last year, but his freshman campaign was less than stellar. He was used primarily to run reverses which never seemed to work. He caught five passes for 17 yards and carried five times for a net 3. Hopefully he can be used differently and the Cats find some production from him this year.

In a bit of discouraging news, Athlon recently tabbed Phillips the sixth worst coach in (major) college football (h/t Aaron at Bleed Blue Kentucky). You may agree or disagree, but at least some people who cannot be accused of being spoiled Kentucky fans are taking exception to the state of the program. If Joker wants to change the perception that he's on the down, he needs to cobble six wins together this year. Whether Kentucky can stem the tide and get back into a bowl game (the only realistic goal this season) will have to be determined on the field. I've learned to take all the talk with a grain of salt, particularly now that spring practices are closed.

I'll come back to this space before the Blue-White Game on April 21 to discuss some things I'll be looking for when I watch. Until then, there probably won't be much more to say.

Let's close today with a question, one I can't answer despite knowing the squad pretty much backwards and forwards. Who leads this team next year? The best player is an offensive guard, the most accomplished skill position player, La'Rod King, doesn't appear to be a real vocal guy. The quarterback getting all the reps now will have to fight for his job in the fall, and there are no standouts left on defense. In a pinch, I'd go with King and Bud Dupree, who I think is in line for a breakout season. Let me know your thoughts.

Now go turn on ESPNU.

Follow me on Twitter @AlexScutchfield.