Two-a-day practices have begun for the University of Kentucky football team. Today was Defensive Coordinator DJ Eliot’s turn to give the post-practice briefing, and much of the early conversation centered around how the defensive line is coping in the absence of Regie Meant, which is so far the biggest story early in fall camp.
Eliot, of course, elaborated on the situation but also touched on a variety of other topics as well during the six minutes he spoke with reporters.
A Solid Rotation is Replacing Meant
How does the coaching staff expect to replace a projected starter such as Meant.
The process is somewhat simple according to Coach Eliot, "We’ve been mixing and matching."
Eliot stated that Courtney Miggins and Matt Elam are receiving the majority of the first-team snaps at nose tackle and defensive end respectively. As for the other tackle position.
"Adrian Middleton has gotten some snaps with that first team tackle. Tymere Dubose has gotten some snaps with that first team tackle." Dubose has a lot of "size and strength and quickness" for his large girth
Miggins also has the ability to switch between the end and tackle positions.
"Courtney is a 290, 300-pound kid. He’s definitely got the ability to play tackle too."
Freshmen T.J. Carter, Ja’Quize Cross and Kordell Looney are also competing for playing time on the line, Eliot said.
Competition at Outside Linebacker
On Monday, Head Coach Mark Stoops remarked that linebacker Jordan Jones did not play up to the staff’s expectations and as a result redshirt freshman Eli Brown received snaps with the first team.
Coach Eliot explained why things like that are so common early in camp.
"I think that day to day our players know they have to be discipline. They have to come out here and do what is asked of them and I think that is for everyone."
- What is Coach Eliot looking for in his players early in camp?
"I am looking for effort. I am looking for enthusiasm. I am looking for fundamental play and I am looking for execution. I don’t expect any of that to be perfect at this stage of camp. Considering what we have in, considering that we have some new guys at some spots, I’m with where we are at", he said.
- So far during camp, several players have already fallen victim to humid weather plaguing Central Kentucky this week. While such conditions produce issues with hydrated football players, Eliot observed that practicing in this kind of heat will prepare the team for their trip to The Swamp to play Florida early in the season.