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UK football announces start of spring practice; will not have Blue-White Game

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COVID-19 will once again prevent UK from having its annual Blue-White Scrimmage.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: AUG 31 Toledo at Kentucky Photo by Mat Gdowski/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Kentucky Wildcats football team will begin its 15-practice spring schedule on Tuesday, March 16 at the Joe Craft Football Training Facility. The practices will span the month of March and conclude in mid-April, but there will be no Blue-White Game, the school announced Wednesday.

“We are excited to begin spring practice next week,” head coach Mark Stoops said in a press release. “Although we won’t have a spring game, we are looking forward to what next season might look like and hopefully that is having full capacity at Kroger Field. We can’t wait to feel that energy again.

“I want to give a special shout-out to everyone working hard to give COVID tests and vaccines at Kroger Field. We appreciate the work they are doing for the people in the Commonwealth.”

The Cats are coming off a 5-6 season that saw them face a 10-game all-SEC regular season before defeating NC State in the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl, the program’s third-straight postseason victory.

Stoops’ team features a wealth of talent in 2021 with 15 starters returning, including seven offense, five defense and three specialists. The roster also includes nine “super seniors” (seniors who took advantage of the NCAA’s blanket eligibility waiver for all 2020 fall student-athletes due to COVID-19), including five starters.

The returning “super senior” starters are wide receiver Josh Ali, offensive guard Luke Fortner, tight end Justin Rigg, kickoff returner/defensive back Zach Johnson and kicker Matt Ruffolo.

Twelve players will also see their first action in a Kentucky uniform after enrolling in early January. Eight of the mid-year enrollees are high school standouts who graduated in December – offensive lineman Jager Burton, defensive back Maxwell Hairston, defensive back Jordan Lovett, wide receiver Chauncey Magwood, quarterback Kaiya Sheron, tight end Jai Williams, offensive lineman David Wohlabaugh and running back La’Vell Wright.

Williams, a freshman from Lake Forest, Illinois is a new addition to the roster. The 6-foot-5, 195-pound tight end was a two-year starter for head coach Chuck Spagnoli at Lake Forest High School where he was a two-way player who lined up at linebacker and tight end. He also was a member of all four special teams units. He is the son of James Williams, also known as “Big Cat,” who played 12 seasons (1991-2003), mostly as an offensive tackle, with the Chicago Bears and is known as one of the “100 Greatest Bears of All-Time.”

As usual, practices are closed to fans at this time.