The big news coming out of football camp today was Mark Stoops announcement that senior defensive tackle Regie Meant will miss time this season due to personal reasons and that sophomore tight end Darryl Long will transfer.
However, that wasn’t the only that Coach Stoops and selected players/coaches discussed after Monday’s practice.Below are several takeaways from the Wildcats first practice of the week.
Jordan Jones Went From the Penthouse to the Outhouse
After being a star in the spring and consistently earning praise from the coaching staff, Mark Stoops had a message for linebacker Jordan Jones and it wasn’t a proclamation of adulation either.
"We’re going to be a disciplined football team. Jordan needs to work on that discipline. If he can’t then he won’t play", said Stoops.
So what did Stoops mean by discipline, especially in regards to Jones?
"Sometimes I play too fast, I shoot the gap too fast," Jones revealed. "I’ve just got to be disciplined with my eyes."
Jones indicated that he understood the importance of the message that Coach Stoops was trying to convey to him and his teammates.
"Disciplined teams are usually the best teams," he said. "Even if you have the best athletes in the country, the disciplined teams are going to do the right thing every time, and the disciplined teams are going to win more games."
It Is Next Man Up on the Defensive Line
The loss of Meant, who produced 31 tackles last season, is a huge blow to a defensive line that already had several question marks heading into the season. Defensive line coach Jimmy Brumbaugh sounded confident after practice, pointing to the staff’s experience in dealing with this kind of situation in the past.
"We’ve developed three new starters since we’ve been here," Brumbaugh explained using the injuries of Bud Dupree and Melvin Lewis as examples,"It is just another opportunity for some other guys."
Earlier, Mark Stoops rattled off potential names that could replace Meant.
"Alvonte (Bell) is a big guy, Courtney Miggins as we talked about," Stoops said. "We’ll bring some guys along. Kengera (Daniel) needs to really develop. He’s a guy that needs to step up and improve."
Coach Brumbaugh spoke highly of Bell, saying that he is "night and day" from where he was as a player last year and also said that Courtney Miggins is "stepping up."
Even with experienced hands on deck, Coach Stoops is counting on newcomers Ja’Quize Cross, Kordell Looney, and TJ Carter to contribute.
"They’re good players. They’re a long ways off right now, but they’re good players. They’re what you want and what you look for. We needed a good solid d-line class. We have one in this group. We have to bring them along a little bit. How much they can help us -- I don’t know yet."
Eli Brown is Making Waves Already
Last season Coach Stoops made a point to mention how much Bowling Green product and linebacker Eli Brown impressed him in practice and today the head coach announced that Brown received reps with the first-team defense.
"He’s coming along," Stoops said,"I’m excited about him."
Overall Stoops Was Pleased With Practice
Mark Stoops has always been his team’s harshest critic and has not ever held back with the media when he believed his team had a sub-par practice. That wasn’t the case the today.
"I liked the practice," Stoops said. "It was a good, competitive practice. Both sides did some good things. Both sides were sloppy at times. In general, we’re competing. Guys are flying around. Good physical day."
Stoops also stated that he thinks the team is practicing "efficiently" on both sides of the ball in comparison to previous seasons.
At the moment, according to Stoops, the team is operating at one-hundred percent with no injuries to report.