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Football Season Coverage

Spring Football will begin on Saturday, March 7

Stoops awesome practice pic

UK announced today that spring football practice will begin on Saturday, March 7 and will run through Wednesday, April 15.

Mark Stoops told KSR he plans to host several open practices to make up for no Blue/White game this year; those have yet to be finalized and will be announced at a later date.


Bud Dupree named one of five players who helped their stock the most at the Combine

Bud Dupree named one of five players who helped their stock the most at the Combine


How important was Bud Dupree’s performance at the NFL Combine? USA Today Sports’ Steven Ruiz says Dupree is one of five players that helped his stock the most:

4. Bud Dupree, DE Kentucky

Kentucky’s Alvin “Bud” Dupree sat out of positional drills with a tweaked groin, but that didn’t stop him from posting a 4.56 forty and 42-inch vertical jump.

In today’s NFL, with rules favoring the passing game, teams are always looking for pass rushers are at a premuim, so questions about Dupree’s strength and technique may be overlooked. But a 6-foot-4, 269-pound end posting those measurements will not be.

At this morning’s press conference to announce the new CATS facility, Mark Stoops told reporters that Dupree’s stellar performance didn’t surprise him one bit. “He’s a special one. He really is,” Stoops said. “I said it from the moment I got on campus here that he would fit right in and play and be as good, if not better, as the guys that I coached, and I coached some awfully good ones.”

[USA Today]

UK partnering with Keeneland and Maker’s Mark to build new CATS tutoring center in football training facility

UK partnering with Keeneland and Maker’s Mark to build new CATS tutoring center in football training facility

Interior Rendering - Level 2 Corridor

Big news out of UK this morning: the university is partnering with Keeneland and Maker’s Mark to expand its Center for Academic and Tutorial Services (CATS). Included in the expansion is an additional tutorial center inside the new football training complex that is currently being built next to Commonwealth Stadium.

Here’s another view of the new CATS facility:

Interior Rendering - Entry Corridor

Over the next five years, Maker’s Mark and Keeneland hope to raise $2 million for the center through contributions and proceeds from sales of more commemorative bottles, starting with one featuring Adolph Rupp that will be released this spring.

Two of the guys who know just how important CATS is were front and center for today’s announcement:


Clearly, Cal didn’t get the business casual memo. Or, he just doesn’t care. I’m going to go with the latter.

Bud Dupree met with the Bengals this weekend

Bud Dupree turned in a monster performance at the NFL Combine this weekend, posting a 4.57 40-yard dash and 11.6 broad jump, freakish stats for a 6’4″ 270 lbs. man. Dupree turned several heads, including those of the Cincinnati Bengals’ coaching staff. According to ESPN’s Coley Harvey, Dupree met with the Bengals, who have the 21st pick in this year’s draft:

The 6-foot-5, 270-pound player listed as a hybrid defensive end/outside linebacker told Friday that he had an interview set up with Cincinnati. Dupree also said he felt comfortable playing on the line as a rush end if the team that drafted him wanted him to do exclusively that.

I’m sure the Bengals fans amongst us would be just fine with that.


CJ Conrad has gained 18 pounds since arriving in Lexington

CJ Conrad

One of Kentucky football’s early enrollees has gained 18 pounds since his arrival in Lexington. The four-star tight end tweeted about his body transformation on Saturday.

In a article with the Lexington Herald-Leader earlier this month, Conrad told Ben Roberts that he has put on 8 pounds of “good weight” since arriving in Lexington. We can all sigh in relief that the weight gain is not part of the notorious freshman 15, 0r 18 in his case.

“I’m just trying to put that extra work in to get myself as ready as possible this spring and fall camp,” Conrad told the Herald-Leader.

The tight end position has been a struggle over the past couple of seasons under coach Mark Stoops. Conrad’s transformation is a good sign for what is to come for the Kentucky offense, especially at the tight end position.

The Bud Dupree show has started

The Bud Dupree show has started

Bud Dupree

Everyone in the state of Kentucky knows how crazy athletic Bud Dupree is and now the whole world is finding out for themselves. Dupree is beginning his workouts for the combine and his results are outstanding.

Dupree officially runs his 40-yard dash in 4.57 seconds. Oh yeah, I should probably mention he measured 6-foot-4 and 270 pounds. Dupree ran his second 40 in 4.73. Bud currently has the best time of all the linebackers today with 4.57.

Check out all of Dupree’s combine results on his profile page here on the website.

Za’Darius Smith runs his 40 yard dash

Za’Darius Smith runs his 40 yard dash

Za'Darius Smith

Za’Darius Smith ran his 40-yard dash in 4.85 and 4.87 at the NFL Combine today. Smith currently sits in 12th place among the defensive linemen at the combine. Vic Beasley of Clemson is the top performer with a run of 4.53.

In the 225-pound bench press, Smith recorded a total 23 reps. The top performer, Deon Simon of Northwestern St. (LA), recorded a total of 35 reps.

Smith measured 6′ 6″ and 263 pounds during his workouts today.

Look at all the top performers here for all the different workouts.

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 12.52.13 PM


Get pumped for the upcoming draft with this combine video

Kentucky Wildcats TV just posted this video, focusing on the Cats who are participating in the combine. Today it is Bryalon Heard’s turn with the running backs. The combine runs throughout the day on the NFL Network.

Good luck to all the Cats in the draft.


Friday afternoon NFL Combine update

Friday afternoon NFL Combine update

First and foremost, here are the official measurements for the four Wildcats participating in this year’s combine:


Bud Dupree is the biggest linebacker in Indianapolis this weekend. He’ll be a top 10 pick (if he’s not already) once scouts see his athleticism in Sunday’s on-field workouts.

As for the drills, Darrian Miller is the only Wildcat to go through any drills so far and his 40-time is among the worst for offensive linemen. Miller ran a 5.51, the sixth slowest time at the combine. He did not participate in yesterday’s bench press.

Brief interruption for this guy:

The NFL Network named him “Quadzilla.”


Here’s the schedule for the remainder of the weekend:

Bud Dupree, Za’Darius Smith
Friday: Measurements ~ Medical Examinations ~ Media ~ Interviews
Saturday: NFLPA Meeting ~ Psychological Testing ~ PK/ST Workout ~ Bench Press ~ Interviews
Sunday: On-Field Workout (timing, stations, skill drills)

Braylon Heard
Friday: NFLPA Meeting ~ Psychological Testing ~ PK/ST Workout ~ Bench Press ~ Interviews
Saturday: On-Field Workout (timing, stations, skill drills)

Catch the live coverage all weekend long on the NFL Network.

And enjoy these action shots of the big boys running the 40:

Bud Dupree measured out as the combine’s biggest linebacker

Today is measurements, medical examinations, media and interviews for the NFL Combine’s defensive linemen and linebackers, and Bud Dupree is already standing out in Indianapolis.

Dupree, named one of the top 12 players to watch at the combine, measured in at 6-foot-4, 269 pounds to outsize everyone in the linebacker group. He’s bigger than several of the top defensive end prospects entering the draft, too.

The measurement category is the first of many Bud will dominate this weekend. You can expect him to be one of the most athletic once the drills take place on Sunday.

His stock is about to go even higher.

Athlon Sports ranks Calipari/Stoops No. 2 in its SEC coaching tandem rankings

Athlon Sports ranks Calipari/Stoops No. 2 in its SEC coaching tandem rankings


Athlon Sports ranked the basketball/football coaching tandems of the Southeastern Conference and our own John Calipari and Mark Stoops took second place.

Here’s what Athlon had to say about our beloved coaching duo:

2. Kentucky
Football: Mark Stoops | Basketball: John Calipari

Calipari has simply led the Kentucky basketball program to an undefeated start this season — and that’s on the heels of an appearance in the national championship game. Simply put, no one in the game is better at recruiting top talent, and he may never get the credit he deserves in managing the egos of players who are one step away from the NBA Draft lottery. The football program is a tougher sell, but Stoops is doing good work. Stoops signed a top-25 class in 2014 and kept the 2015 class respectable. Kentucky improved from 2-10 to 5-7 in Stoops’ second season and could have been bowl eligible if not for close calls with Florida and Louisville.

Auburn took the top spot with Bruce Pearl and Guz Malzahn.

See the rankings here.

Shout-out to Mitch Barnhart.

Randall Cobb cancels school in Eminence, Kentucky

School closings are coming in from all across the Commonwealth, but the kids in Eminence, Kentucky got a very special treat when UK football great and NFL star Randall Cobb notified them school will be out tomorrow via video. Randall filmed the good news from what looks like a very warm and pleasant place. Definitely not Eminence or Green Bay.

Lucky kids.

Blake McClain has been nothing short of great in his first two seasons as UK's nickelback.

An Extremely Early Look at the Kentucky Football Depth Chart

Patrick Towles (RS Junior): 12 starts, 225-392 (57.4%), 2718 yards, 14 TD, 9 INT 
Reese Phillips (RS Sophomore): 3 games (no starts), 2-9, 45 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT
Drew Barker (RS Freshman): No stats

This is Patrick Towles’ team, without a doubt.  If you think otherwise, consider this: Towles’ completion percentage (57.4%) was Jared Lorenzen’s career-best at UK.  He threw 14 interceptions in his first season as a full-time starter: in their first seasons starting full-time, Couch threw 19 and Lorenzen threw 21.  Towles has set a solid foundation to improve upon in 2015 under Shannon Dawson.

Boom Williams (Sophomore): 1 start in 2014, 74 carries for 486 yards, 5 TD, 17 catches for 162 yards, 1 TD
JoJo Kemp (Junior): 3 career starts (1 in 2014), 70 carries for 323 yards, 4TD
Mikel Horton (Sophomore): 59 carries for 306 yards, 2 TD
Sihiem King (Freshman): 3-star

There’s no doubt that Boom will be the featured back, but Kemp and Horton will still have the chance for plenty of carries this Fall.  It will be interesting to see if they decide to redshirt the speedy King.

Blake Bone (Sophomore): 14 catches for 194 yards, 2 TD
Jeff Badet (RS Sophomore): Started 5 games in 2013, Redshirt in 2014
Thaddeus Snodgrass (RS Freshman): No stats

They will sub so much that it really won’t matter who starts, because all three will have the chance to make big plays on the outside.  Bone is the biggest target, Badet finished his freshman year wonderfully, and Snodgrass should be hungry after the coaches decided to redshirt the early enrollee last year.  Snodgrass won’t say it publicly, but if I was chosen to redshirt while other fellow freshman like Bone were scoring touchdowns, I’d be motivated to ball better than ever before.

Ryan Timmons (Junior): 14 career starts (8 in 2014), 45 catches for 536 yards, 2 TD
Garrett Johnson (Sophomore): 2 starts in 2014, 22 catches for 271 yards, 2 TD
T.V. Williams (Sophomore): 4 catches for 64 yards

After a sophomore slump, Timmons has plenty of people to push him to greatness in 2015.  If he can’t get it done, the Cats will let the Juice loose.

Dorian Baker (Sophomore): 3 starts in 2014, 19 catches for 199 yards, 1 TD
Alex Montgomery (RS Sophomore): 16 catches in 2013, Redshirt in 2014
Joey Herrick (Senior): 6 starts in 2014, 8 catches for 116 yards

Hopefully Baker’s off the field antics don’t prohibit him from doing work on the field in 2015.  I firmly believe that he can be one of the greatest all-around wide receivers in UK history by the time it’s all said and done.  He has great pad level, good hands, and a badass mentality that you love to see in a guy that goes one-on-one with the best DBs in the country on a weekly basis.

I could watch this from Dorian Baker hit on loop…

Darryl Long (RS Freshman): No stats
C.J. Conrad (Freshman): 4-star
Tavin Richardson (Freshman): 3-star

Richardson will likely redshirt, with the coaches playing whoever has the hot hand between Conrad and Long.  If there’s a position on offense to keep an eye on, it’s this one.

Jordan Swindle (Senior): 24 career starts (12 in 2014)
Josh Krok (RS Freshman): No stats

Swindle will likely make the move to the other side of the line this year.  Despite being false start happy, he’s the best the line has back this year.  The change shouldn’t be a problem for Swindle, who filled in for Darrian Miller whenever necessary last season.

Zach West (RS Senior): 29 career starts (8 in 2014)
Cole Mosier (RS Sophomore): 2 starts in 2014

There hasn’t been a spot on the OLine that’s changed starters more.  Just when West was starting to become consistent, injuries took him off the field.  I expect West to reach his potential this year with consistent play IF he can stay healthy.

Jon Toth (RS Junior): 22 career starts (12 in 2014)
Bunchy Stallings (RS Freshman): No stats

Zach Myers has done an exceptional job filling in for Toth at times, but Bunchy Stallings might be the best offensive lineman from the Class of 2014.  His look fits the bill, with excellent footwork and an acute mind to make all the calls necessary for the position.  Bunchy will definitely be in the OLine rotation.

Ramsey Meyers (RS Sophomore): Started all 12 games in 2014
Nick Haynes (RS Sophomore): 1 start in 2014
Jarrett LaRubbio (RS Freshman): No stats

Ramsey Meyers had a solid first season starting last year, leaving plenty of room to improve.  Haynes and LaRubbio will battle for a spot as a potential guard sub.


Kyle Meadows (RS Sophomore): 1 start in 2014
Nick Richardson (RS Freshman): No stats
George Asafo-Adjei (Freshman): 3-star

After acting as the designated sub at both tackle spots last year, Kyle Meadows should take over at right tackle.  I included Big George because I believe he’s the only freshman offensive lineman with a chance to play since Stoops took over.




Melvin Lewis (RS Senior): 12 starts in 2014, 37 tackles, 0.5 sacks
Cory Johnson (Senior): 12 games (0 starts), 10 tackles, 2.5 sacks in 2014

Matt Elam (Sophomore): 12 games (0 starts), 10 tackles in 2014
Reggie Meant (RS Sophomore): 11 games (0 starts), 18 tackles in 2014

The last position you should worry about is defensive tackle.  There’s plenty of experience, size and numbers (I didn’t include three players who could also potentially get playing time).

Denzil Ware (RS Freshman): No stats
Farrington Huguenin (RS Senior): 1 career start (0 in 2014), 18 tackles in 2014

Ware is a wonderful athlete and should be a joy to watch after a year of improving with a redshirt.  He’s a favorite of Coach Brumbaugh and Mark Stoops and should have plenty of big hits in the backfield.

Jason Hatcher (Junior): 6 starts in 2014, 28 tackles, 1.5 sacks
Jabari Johnson (RS Senior): 2 starts in 2014, 20 tackles

Jason Hatcher has done great filling in for Bud, but can he be THE man to make big plays?

Josh Forrest (RS Senior): 12 starts in 2014, 110 tackles led team
Dorian Hendrix (RS Freshman): No stats

Josh Forrest took some time to gain the coaches favor, but after leading the team in tackles and improving his physicality throughout the season, he should have his position secured.  Dorian Hendrix will likely rotate in frequently, much like Avery Williamson did when Danny Trevathan was starting above him.

Nico Firios (RS Freshman): No stats
Khalid Henderson (Senior): 8 starts in 2014, 53 tackles
Ryan Flannigan (Senior): 4 starts in 2014, 57 tackles

This might be the most surprising thing you see today.  The most inconsistent position last year, coaches liked the progress of Flannigan and Henderson’s “never give up” attitude, but I simply cannot see a way to keep Nico off the field.  He might be more a more natural Mike, but Stoops needs physicality at both linebacker spots.  If they prefer to have Nico at Mike, Dorian Hendrix would be a natural fit.

Blake McClain has been nothing short of great in his first two seasons as UK's nickelback.

Blake McClain has been nothing short of great in his first two seasons as UK’s nickelback.

Blake McClain (Junior): 18 career starts (7 in 2014), 28 tackles, 0 INT
Kendall Randolph (Sophomore): 12 games (0 starts), 16 tackles

These two are the most reliable secondary players on the defense, the trick is trying to get both of them plenty of playing time.

Cody Quinn (Senior): 24 career starts (12 in 2014), 35 tackles, 0 INT
Fred Tiller (Senior): 23 career starts (12 in 2014), 46 tackles, 2 INT

JD Harmon (RS Junior): 3 career starts (0 in 2014), 29 tackles
Jaleel Hytchye (Junior): 1 career start (0 in 2014), 0 tackles in 2014
Jared Tucker (RS Freshman): No stats
Chris Westry (Freshman): 3-star
Kei Beckham (Freshman): 3-star
Derrick Baity (Freshman): 3-star

There isn’t a position with more uncertainty than cornerback.  Cody Quinn and Fred Tiller have the most starts, but have been burned enough to have their spots taken.  Harmon has the height to guard big receivers, but has a tendency of making mistakes that infuriate coaches.  Hytchye has more than enough speed to play, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a taller young gun like Westry or Tucker get significant shots at playing time.

AJ Stamps (Senior): 12 starts in 2014, 56 tackles, 4 INT
Mike Edwards (RS Freshman): No stats

Marcus McWilson (Junior): 2 starts in 2014, 36 tackles, 3 INT
Darius West (RS Freshman): No stats

AJ Stamps and Marcus McWilson have their sports locked up pretty securely after an exceptional 2014 season, combining for 7 of the Cats’ 15 interceptions.  I’m not sure which spot West and Edwards will play, but I’m confident they’ll be #2 on the depth chart.

Happy Birthday Jared Lorenzen!

Happy Birthday Jared Lorenzen!

jlo espn

We couldn’t let a Valentine’s Day go by without wishing the BBN’s favorite cupid quarterback and KSR correspondent, Jared Lorenzen, a VERY Happy 34th Birthday.

There aren’t too many that represent Kentucky football better.  Personally, there is no one to thank more for my love for Kentucky football than Jared, and I especially thank you for your generosity: it’s nice when your childhood hero is just as cool as you always thought he’d be.

Let Rob Bromley’s voice guide you through a trip down Memory Lane with this clip from the 2000 Governor’s Cup.  There probably isn’t a better compilation of Jared being Jared (but he’s at his best in the beginning, pissing off every person in Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium).

Lloyd Tubman’s future at UK may be up to the Office of Student Conduct

Lloyd Tubman’s future at UK may be up to the Office of Student Conduct


Earlier this week, a Lexington grand jury did not indict Lloyd Tubman on a rape charge, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be back on the UK football team anytime soon, and that decision may be out of Mark Stoops’ control.

According to the Herald Leader, under the UK student conduct rules, a case of sexual assault that goes to the police is automatically heard in an Office of Student Conduct hearing. Those hearings are held within 60 days of the incident and reportedly operate under a lower burden of proof than the criminal justice system.

In a series of Facebook messages, Tubman’s mother Warnetta Smith Cooper shared her thoughts on the situation. From the Herald-Leader:

“As it relates to UK, I don’t have any discussion to give other than how disappointed I am with the entire disciplinary board or whatever they may call themselves,” Tubman’s mother, Warnetta Smith Cooper, said in a series of Facebook messages.

My son loves UK and wanted to be a part as a family of UK, but sincerely, they never proved me wrong of thoughts on how they treat their athletes.”

Cooper was careful to draw the distinction between the UK coaching staff, whom she called “decent and genuine,” and the disciplinary board, who she said “can never be trusted.”

Tubman and Drew Barker, who is currently in the center of another off-the-field scandal himself, exchanged these tweets on Wednesday:

To read more on this complicated situation, visit the Herald-Leader.