Spring practice is well underway for the Kentucky Wildcats, as they’ll be looking to build upon another 10-win season and Citrus Bowl victory.
One of the key units during Mark Stoops’ tenure has been the offensive line. Coming into this spring practice, many had some questions about the group after the departure of Darian Kinnard, Luke Fortner and Dare Rosenthal.
Out of two returning starters from last year's rotation, one is looking to be the piece that holds the puzzle together, and that is Kenneth Horsey.
After Tuesday’s practice Horsey met with the media, and he gave some high praise for the O-line only a few weeks into the start of the new season.
“I don’t feel like this line is rebuilt. I feel it’s really just reloaded,” Horsey said. “We’ve added some great talent. We’ve established a culture with the Big Blue Wall and whoever comes into that culture coaches believe they’ll fit greatly within that culture.
“And I believe Tashawn and the new guys coming in are doing a great job doing that. Just being hard-nosed guys, bring your hard hat to work kinda guys. Just excited to see what spring and fall has to say about it.”
I would still expect the staff to try and land a seasoned tackle to join the current group, but from the sounds of Horsey there shouldn't be much of a step back despite losing so much from last year's team.
A lot of that comes from the culture that Horsey mentions above, and new O-Line coach Zach Yenser is tasked with carrying on the legacy left by his former colleague John Schlarman. After coaching under Schlarman at Troy, Yenser returns to his home state looking to add to the Legacy left behind by the former UK coach. According to Horsey he is fitting into that culture just fine.
“He embodies it perfectly,” Horsey said of Yenser. “Honestly, it’s a small world the fact he was coached by Schlarman previously, but I feel like that speaks to the legacy of Coach Schalrman.”
“We constantly think about how we leave our legacies, and I think Coach Schlarman’s legacy was bigger than what he did in this building. There are people like Coach Yenser, Coach Mack (Evan McKissack), whose at Troy now, and even Drake, who compliments that legacy Coach Schlarman was, and Coach Yenser is no different.”
Great to hear a staple of this Kentucky football program isn't going anywhere anytime soon.