The football roster has changed dramatically since Kentucky’s Citrus Bowl victory. Before you’re confused by all of the new numbers, let me get you acquainted with a few of the guys who will make plays during tonight’s Blue/White Game.
6 — Jared Casey is still learning on the job. Even though he might not schematically or fundamentally do exactly Brad White wants to see, he’ll make a play or two behind the line-of-scrimmage.
11 — Moses Douglass is the type of dude the coaches have to tell, “Remember, they’re your teammates.” The true freshman safety is bound to have at least one big hit tonight.
20 and 24 — Kavosiey Smoke and Chris Rodriguez are going to get a lot of play tonight. One of them will steal the show. I have a hunch it will be Smoke, slashing through the middle of the defense.
21 — No, that’s not Chris Westry, but JUCO defense back Quandre Mosely looks a lot like him in full uniform.
23 — Fans learned Ty Ajian’s name when he picked off a crucial pass against Mississippi State. Even though Stoops is putting the defense behind the 8-ball, I’m calling it now, Ajian’s picking off a pass tonight.
26 — JUCO transfer Brandin Echols has quickly emerged as Kentucky’s most consistent cornerback. Even though he transitioned from wide receiver to defense not long ago, he brings much-needed physicality to the pass defense.
56 — You will NOT see Kash Daniel on the field tonight. Still recovering from injuries last season, Kentucky’s middle linebacker has not gone full contact throughout the spring. The Cats will lean on Chris Oats (22) and Jamin Davis (44) to fill the gaps.
Daniel’s absence is for precautionary reasons. For that same reason I would not expect to see much from Lynn Bowden tonight.
70 — Darian Kinnard played sparingly as a true freshman. This year he’ll be asked to start at right tackle alongside Luke Fortner (79).
78 — Nick Lewis is the largest human you’ve ever seen.
82 — Josh Ali has transformed into Terry Wilson’s No. 2 target behind Lynn Bowden. There are a few other young wide receivers who have lacked consistency, but have the potential to make big plays today — Bryce Oliver (85), Allen Dailey (89), B.J. Alexander (84) and Isaiah Epps (81).
92- Phil Hoskins had an excellent scrimmage last Saturday. Quick to rush the passer, he’s one of the dominant d-line’s most explosive playmakers.
94 — Abule Abadi-Fitzgerald came to Kentucky just months after transitioning from basketball to football. A once wiry end is now a nose guard. Quinton Bohanna (95) and Marquan “Bully” McCall (50) will get the early reps, but I have a hunch Abule will make a couple of eye-opening plays.