There are just five weeks remaining until the start of football season in the Bluegrass, and the ladies of the BBN are excited. By spending my morning at Kroger Field for the UK football women’s clinic, I had the chance to listen to the coaches and interact with the camp-goers. And trust me when I say: everyone is excited.
From Mark Stoops’ honest Q-and-A with the fans to Vince “Big Dawg” Marrow’s enthusiasm, it’s clear the coaches are feeling good about the season. Former KSR writer and current director of player development, Freddie Maggard gave the women a detailed presentation on his new role for the team, and Josh Allen offered hugs to door prize winners. There was a lot to digest, so I broke it down into the top six moments of the day.
A new kind of fashion show
In years past, players have modeled their new uniforms and equipment in a “fashion show.” This year, however, some of the most popular players – Josh Allen, CJ Conrad, Mike Edwards, Dorian Baker and David Bouvier – modeled training equipment instead. But that’s not all. Head strength coach Mark Hill also had each of the available players perform strength drills wearing various pieces of equipment (much to the dismay of the players).
Josh Allen is expected to be a stud for Kentucky this season, but he’s also got a way with the ladies. The senior wore a 10-pound weighted vest, but most importantly, he showed off his dance moves and the crowd loved every second of it.
Senior tight end CJ Conrad showed off his skills with the leg weights and hurdles.
But, after all, it is the women’s football clinic. Luckily, Jennifer Palumbo, who emcees the event, decided she’d try her hand at some of the exercises too.
You go girl.
Mark Stoops: “I go through different shades of red”
“Angry Stoops” has become a “thing” for Mark Stoops and the BBN, and the head coach is not hiding from his fiery reputation. When one of the women in the crowd asked how he keeps his cool during tough in-game situations (cough cough, the Benny Snell ejection), Stoops didn’t take himself too seriously. He even admitted his face goes through “different shades of red.”
“As head coach, when things are at their worst, I definitely have to be the calmest. And that was really difficult in the bowl game,” Stoops said. “People were like: ‘how did you handle that?’ and I’m like: ‘I have no idea.’ Gandhi… my wife Chantal, years of counseling really helped.”
Watch the whole interaction below:
Mike Edwards strengthens his neck?
Along with the updated fashion show, Coach Hill also explained how the strength coaches serve the players, including how they strengthen minor muscles to help prevent injuries. Senior Mike Edwards was called upon to help demonstrate and… well, I’ll just let you watch.
I’ll have more on Freddie’s impressive player development pitch later, but I felt it had to be included in this post. In just a few short months, Freddie has stepped into a huge role for the football team and has expanded his position to best fit the needs of his players. During today’s presentation, he broke down his three initiatives (#4for40, Huddle Up and Audible) and explained the impact each could have on Kentucky’s players once they hang up their helmets.
Part of Freddie’s presentation revolved around the idea that he was using UK’s player development program during a recruiting pitch, with his lovely wife Jennifer Maggard acting as the hypothetical player’s concerned mother. After her job was done, she took a moment to thank the BBN – and, likely, KSR fans – for continuously supporting their family throughout the years. We love you, Maggard family!
A Mother’s Time to Shine
It takes a strong woman to raise a son who can play football in the SEC. Jamar “Boogie” Watson (sophomore outside linebacker) and David Bouvier (senior wide receiver) are both lucky enough to have such a mom. Both women were in attendance today to take part in the drills, and it looks like Watson and Bouvier may have inherited their football skills from their mothers… Check out these impressive ladies.
They even worked together on one drill. Except for a little confusion about where the end zone is, they killed it.
Terry Wilson appears in the hype video
If you listen to the radio show, you may have heard Matt discussing the new Kentucky football “hype” video that debuted last week. They also aired the video during today’s festivities, and I managed to record it (just for you guys).
The video spends plenty of time on Benny Snell and other familiar faces, but it is interesting that the video ends with a shot of Terry Wilson… Could this be a hint of what’s to come for the starting quarterback contender? Would they really end the hype video with a shot of the backup QB? Take a look:
Overall, it was a great day for the ladies of the BBN. If you were there, write me on Twitter, @MaggieDavisKSR with your favorite part of the day. If you couldn’t make it this morning, don’t worry – there’s always next year!