This is the last week of fall camp for Kentucky Wildcats Football. Next week, the Cats will be into game prep for the first game of the season against Southern Mississippi on September 2nd.
On Tuesday, head coach Mark Stoops allowed media members into the first portion of practice. Most work done was on group drills, some 7 on 7, and finally some 11 on 11. Here are a few of the observations I had.
-DMX is a great way to warm up for practice. As long as Coach Stoops isn’t losing his mind during a game (up in here, up in here!)
-Not one, but two players were wearing Dorian Baker’s #2 for practice today. “Juice” Johnson wore it for the second day in a row. Derrick Baity rocked the #2 for the defense today. It was nice to see the brotherhood this team has.
-Austin MacGinnis hasn’t slowed down. The game winning kicker showed he hasn’t slowed down in the off season, nailing every distance he tried during drills.
-Punter U may be back. Matt Panton and Grant McKinniss are battling to be the punter for UK. From the angle I watched from, they were pretty consistent with their kicks.
-While the veterans are the reason for optimism this season, the freshman are knocking down doors. Quinton Bohanna shows flashes on the D-line. Clevan Thomas, Javonte Richardson, Isaiah Epps, and Josh Ali will be in the WR rotation right off the bat. And Lynn Bowden? Believe the hype. No matter what group he was a part of during practice, his play making ability was on display. I’ll predict at least two return touchdowns this season, either by punt or kick return.
-Stoops wants to play. Standing behind the safety during drills, you can tell how much Stoops loves the game of football. If had any eligibility left, he’d be in pads right now.
-Biggest sign this isn’t your average UK team? How about NFL scouts in attendance. I’m sure scouts will be at every game during the season, but two weeks prior to opening kickoff? That’s a great sign.
-Depth at QB. Watching the top three on the depth chart during practice, it’s nice to know that IF there is another injury, QB play would still be solid. Johnson and Barker have experience, Hoak the arm, and all three have the ability to drive UK down the field in game situations.
Granted, all we were able to see was about 35 minutes of practice, however the Cats look to be taking preparations seriously. While you do have to stay loose, especially during the dog days of camp, Stoops and his team know that Southern Miss is just a week and a half away, and it’ll be time to try to climb the mountain that is the SEC East once again.
Our own Bradley Morris is at UK's open practice today. Here are some highlights:Posted by A Sea of Blue on Tuesday, August 22, 2017