clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Kentucky Football: 3 takeaways from Tuesday’s practice

New, comment

UK is finding news ways to utilize Garrett Johnson, while the offensive line is showing great promise.

Kentucky v Louisville Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Offensive Coordinator Eddie Gran sounded positive about what his side of the ball displayed at the open practice last Saturday when he spoke with reporters earlier today.

“On that day we executed pretty well. I thought we were sharp. We had the least amount of missed mental assignments on that day. The least amount of loafs as a group. We only had eight. In a full practice that’s winning football. That’s what I liked about it. It was really good, especially in your sixth and seventh day", he said.

Gran was also pleased with how the offense looked today as well. According to veteran coach, they executed well on third down and battled the defense to a draw during a few simulated two-minute drills.

Below are specifics on how specific position groups are developing three weeks away from opening kickoff.

The O-Line

Going into the 2017 season, Kentucky has one of its deepest and most experienced offensive line in a long time.

However, that does not mean that the unit is not without issues going into the second week of camp. Right guard Nick Haynes in battling diabetes, which means that his snaps in practice are limited.

Gran said that the staff is making do with the situation. Freshmen Nassir Watkins and and Sebastien Dolcine are getting an increased number of reps.

Haynes is taking the situation well and is "coaching the heck" out of the younger players according to Gran.

Of course, speaking of younger players, the Big Blue Nation is curious about the development of Woodford County product Drake Jackson.

Coach Gran said that Jackson has "done a really good job for us" coming off his redshirt season, but Jackson does need to work on his technique.

"The biggest thing for him is the technique part of it. You get in there, and you get into better players. Our defensive front is doing a great job, doing a lot of movement. When he gets singled up, he’s got to really use his technique to be good. For those centers, for us, it’s got to be operation."

The Wide Receivers

With most of the talk centering around frosh wideouts Isiah Epps and Josh Ali during the first week of practice, it is easy to forget about the talent the Wildcats have coming back on the outside.

Garrett Johnson seems to be the likely contender to replace Jeff Badet as Kentucky's primary weapon at receiver. Coach Gran said that the senior is seeing snaps in the slot.

"That gives you that speed where we can take it off the top from secondaries and gives us a chance to work some other guys inside," Grain said on the advantages of being able to spread Johnson out over the field.

Senior Blake Bone and junior Kayaune Ross are also getting snaps with the first string, said Gran.

Prize recruit Lynn Bowden continues to come along slowly.

"So he’s got to learn that craft first. When he learns that craft, then we can start bringing him in and doing some other things with him. But one thing at a time", Grain said about the speedy Ohioan.

The Running Backs

Benny Snell wrapped an unbreakable sleeper hold on the starting running back position the second Boom Williams declared for the NFL Draft.

The battle to backup the hard-running Snell continues.

Gran said he likes the way redshirt freshman A.J. Rose looks.

"I do like that he has continued to progress in the offense, a lot less of the mental errors and you just keep seeing the athleticism pop out."

The Head Coach of the Offense also shared his thoughts on freshman Bryant Koback.

“Well, he was out for a couple of days, just because we've got to make sure that after being out for so long that we take care of him. But the first five practices that I saw, he's got some juice to him, can make people miss and his toughness and he's really smart.”