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Kash Daniel expects laser-focus from UK’s defense

Kash sat down for a couple minutes do talk about the upcoming season and why he chose to play football.

Jason Marcum - Sea of Blue

Kentucky Wildcats linebacker Kash Daniel was kind enough to take a few minutes after Thursday’s practice to talk about the upcoming season and why it’s so special, being a Kentucky-native, to play in front of Big Blue Nation.

Now that you’re an upperclassman, what are your expectations going into the 2018 season?

KD: As a unit, as a team, I expect laser-focus every day in practice. Not just me, but that’s our standards, and it’s what we expect from each other. We come out and expect to have great practices Monday through Friday, and expect to compete in the games no matter how much time is left on the clock, no matter what the scoreboard says, no matter how much we’re up or how much we’re down, we compete until the last whistle. I think that’s all you can ask for.

What about as an individual?

KD: Personal expectations? I expect myself to make plays for my teammates. I expect myself to know the call, not just what my job is, but what everybody else’s job is as well because that will help me play faster.

You had that six-yard run on the fake punt last year against Missouri to set up a first down. Do you ever want to line up in the backfield and try your skills as a running back?

KD: (laughing) No, Coach Gran’s got enough horses back there to get the ball moving, so I’ll just stick my happy bum on defense.

You played baseball and basketball in high school. What made you choose football over those other sports?

KD: Because hitting people is a lot more fun than hitting a baseball, and I can do it legally for four years.

Other than playing in front of the home crowd at Kroger Field, what’s been your best experience at another stadium in which you’ve player?

KD: You know, everywhere we go in the SEC is just electric. It’s just something where you walk out on the field and it hits you. You feel it, and it hits you that this is big-time football now. It’s loud at South Carolina, it’s loud at Florida, it’s going to be so loud at Texas A&M. That’s one game I’m really looking forward to. No matter where we play, whether it’s at Kroger Field or anywhere else we play I’m looking forward to each and every stadium I step in because I know it could be my last. It’s just a blessing.

You’re from Kentucky. How much more special does that make it for you when you play for UK?

KD: I feel like myself and the other key guys on our team that are from Kentucky, we feel like we owe it back to our state this year, and for the remaining years that we’re here at UK. They (the fans) put in a lot of time and effort into coming to watch us play, they support us through thick and thin.

For me and the guys that have been here and are from Kentucky, we’ve been here our whole lives and we know what the perception has been and it’s time for us to go out on Saturday and be like “Hey, Kentucky, what we put out on the field is for you guys, so thank you for supporting us.”

That’s what it means to me and I tell guys from out of state, that whether they’re from Florida or Ohio or some other state, when you come here to play, this is your adopted home state. These are your people as well. So just because you’re not from here, doesn’t mean that you don’t have an impact on this state and how they perceive this UK football team.

I know you’re avid fisherman, I am myself, so what’s your favorite lake to fish in the state?

KD: In Kentucky? My favorite lake in Kentucky is probably Lake Barkley or Kentucky Lake. Up here it’s mostly farm ponds.

You’re bass fishing, right?

KD: Yeah, I bass fish.

What’s your lure of choice? What do you like to throw?

KD: There’s so much. It depends on what time of year it is. Right now, it’s hot, so, I got to get a little deeper where it’s a little cooler. But, you know, when the water cools off in the evenings or early morning, I like to throw top water. I get out my buzz-bait.