Kentucky held it’s annual football media day on Friday, which is supposed to be the start of fun times as the new season inches closer.
However, it was a somber day for those around the football program, as head coach Mark Stoops announced offensive line coach John Schlarman and defensive end Josh Paschal are dealing with medical issues.
Paschal has been diagnosed with malignant melanoma on the bottom of his foot, the same which he injured earlier this summer.
“Josh and his family are handling it well,” said Stoops. “They want to be open about this so that there was no speculation. They also want this to be a reminder to people to pay close attention to their skin and have those evaluated.”
Schlarman is also going through a health situation. Stoops would not specify exactly what it is, only saying it will require further testing. Schlarman is expected to keep coaching for the time being.
“Our hearts and prayers are with Josh and John as they battle this issue,” Stoops said. “We’re very close to both of their families and spent time with both of the families this week. We will continue to be supportive and be family and be for them in any way we can.”
Paschal, who hails from Our Lady of Good Counsel High School in Maryland, is already battling a foot injury expected to sideline him into the regular season, so this latest setback makes his status even murkier.
Paschal picked Kentucky over the likes of Oklahoma and Notre Dame. He was the best player Stoops landed in the 2017 class, as 247 Sports ranked him 191st overall in addition to being the eighth-best defensive end prospect in 2017.
As a true freshman last season, Paschal recorded 16 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. His impact was even great than that thanks to his ability to put pressure on opposing passers at a high rate. He was expected to have a major role in the defense this season, but this surgery may lessen his impact to start the season.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Schlarman, Paschal and their families.