1. Mum’s the Word on Bowden
Everybody was excited to see Lynn Bowden get to the Kentucky football practice field. Â Now that he’s here, he’s figuring out how to play wide receiver.
To use Eddie Gran’s words: “He’s swimming right now…He’s trying to get six practices in one.”
The players, including quarterback Stephen Johnson, acknowledge his raw talent, but it will take some time before Bowden can significantly contribute. Â In other words, just chill for a bit.
2. Saturday’s Scrimmage was Fantastic
After meticulously breaking down the film, Gran had nothing bad to say about Saturday’s open practice, a rarity this early in camp. Â Â
“I thought we were sharp. We had the least amount of missed mental assignments on that day and the least amount of loafs as a group. We only had eight. In a full practice that’s winning football. Â ”
3. Today was Not Too Shabby Either
For the first time the Cats spent the entirety of team period on situational work. Â Gran liked what he saw during the third-down period. Â In the two-minute drill, they split four series with the defense. Â One of them ended early, thanks to a bad exchange from the center. Â Mistakes happen, but these Cats know what’s at stake after 2016’s close calls.
“Last year we won two games in two minute and we lost one,” said Gran. Â “Weâ€™ve gotta be able to win all of them when we get in those situations.â€
4. Juice Played Outside
Jeff Badet gave UK top end speed on the outside in 2016. Â Now at Oklahoma, without Badet the Cats have more size than speed on the outside. Â That changed when Garrett “Juice” Johnson got some reps in at outside receiver yesterday. Â His speed gives UK a deep threat and opens up the middle of the field for guys like Chuck Walker, and a few freshmen who have been impressive early in camp, Isaiah Epps and Josh Ali.
Hear Freddie’s analysis of this move on tonight’s Depth Chart Podcast. Â If that doesn’t entice you enough, a special appearance from Freddie’s favorite player should.
5. Everything Gran Said Today
6. Redshirt Offensive Linemen are Impressing Schlarman
Mason Wolfe earned praise from Gran and John Schlarman. Â Formerly a tackle, the Kentucky kid has moved down to guard and is also getting reps at center.
“He’s one guy that’s definitely stepping up and I think progressing nicely,” Schlarman said.
The offensive line coach also mentioned Drake Jackson and Tate Leavitt as two others who are showing signs of progress through the early stages of camp.
7. Nick Haynes is Getting Work at Center
The senior All-SEC performer has suddenly had his competence questioned since it was revealed he has diabetes. Â He’s played with it for four years, and now it’s something that’s asked about at every media session. Â I’m annoyed by it, but it’s basically given him an opportunity to prove just how good he is. Â One of the best athletes on the team, Schlarman said he’s gaining weight and playing even more positions.
“Nick has gotten reps at every position since he’s been here,” Schlarman said. Â “His redshirt freshman year, he played a game at tackle for us down at Florida. Â He got reps out at tackle and did a great job. Â He’s got the ability and the intelligence where he can play anywhere up there. Â He understands the game. Â He knows the assignments, whether you put him at right tackle, left tackle or center, it doesn’t matter.”
Who knows where we will see Haynes this fall. Â Big George has received a chunk of reps at right guard in his place, but you will see Haynes somewhere on the field in some capacity doing great things for the UK offense.