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ESPN Delivers Kentucky’s Spring Wrap

Edward Aschoff over at ESPN’s SEC blog wrote up a little wrap up of the Wildcats’ spring campaign. He provided both three things that he believes Joker Phillips and the team answered during spring ball and three questions going into the season. One interesting point that Aschoff found to be an ‘answer’ was the repositioning of Marcus Caffey from running back to corner back. He says:

3. Caffey’s move: Kentucky entered the spring trying to replace two starters at cornerback, so the staff moved running back Marcus Caffey there. The experiment appeared to work, as Caffey was one of the more impressive looking players this spring. He caught on quickly at his new position and ended the spring as a starter. He’s also a bigger body and the coaches say he’s very durable. Both will come in handy against bigger receivers in this league.

Trevard Lindley was the last impact corner that the Cats had and even he struggled at times during his junior and senior seasons. If Marcus Caffey can step into his new position and make plays in an area of real need, he may be the best product of the offseason. The Cats return only five starters on the defensive side of the ball so players will need to step up in a big way this year if we’re going to avoid last year’s blowouts.

Aschoff went on to question the confidence in the quarterback position. While Maxwell Smith was thrown into the fire after Morgan Newton’s injury last season, he only showed flashes of promise. It’s possibly the most UK thing in the world to have the most memorable quarterbacking show of the season put on by a wide receiver, but without the shoulders of Matt Roark to place our burdens upon this season, who is going to step up?

3. Smith as the guy: Outside of the spring game, Maxwell Smith had a pretty impressive spring in Lexington. He seemed to develop his game the way the coaches wanted and needed him too, but his mistakes in the spring game brought some worry. He rushed his play and reverted back to some bad habits. While he’d be the starter if the season started today, the coaches hinted that the race is still open with Morgan Newton coming back from shoulder surgery and incoming freshman Patrick Towles arriving this summer. Smith might have improved, but Newton and Towles will get every chance to win the starting job. If Smith regresses again, he might fail to win the job he thinks is his to lose.

Three way quarterback controversies are never a good way to start a season. Hopefully, one of them can emerge and win the spot outright. Otherwise, the offense may provide more question marks than the defense.

Article written by Matthew Hays

18 Comments for ESPN Delivers Kentucky’s Spring Wrap

  1. CATastrophe
    8:10 pm May 15, 2012 Permalink

    O no! We suck again!

  2. Robbbbby
    8:10 pm May 15, 2012 Permalink

    It’s KENTUCKY football people. It doesn’t matter if Joe Montana (in his prime) was going to be our QB, we’d still lost the same games every year and struggle to reach a bowl. This is basketball country. Deal with it.

  3. CATastrophe
    8:11 pm May 15, 2012 Permalink

    also i saw some punk tried to duplicate my handle and use Katastrophe. if your idea of creativity is stealing someone else creative handle, u need to try some LSD or something. cmon man, get your own name. 4 real

  4. tdogg40330
    8:16 pm May 15, 2012 Permalink

    I’m behind Joker, I hope he has a good season ….. GO CATS

  5. Mudcreekmark
    8:17 pm May 15, 2012 Permalink

    If a running back can be your starting corner that quickly we must really be in trouble. I cannot believe that one of the recruits that have been playing the position all their lives are not better that someone who just started playing it.

  6. cawood
    8:20 pm May 15, 2012 Permalink

    It’s gonna be a long season.

  7. cruz
    8:22 pm May 15, 2012 Permalink

    Anyone named Joker ends up being a Joke. Watch Batman.

  8. big tim
    8:50 pm May 15, 2012 Permalink

    there not going to be a quarterback controversy now the coaches will tell you that its anybody job but thats coaches talk they dont want max to get big headed and think it his

  9. BNClah
    9:00 pm May 15, 2012 Permalink

    I lol’d hard at #1. My prediction for the QB job is that Smith start first few games with mixed results, then in first SEC game opposing D-line destroys him, out for the season, Newton comes in for 2 or 3 games, throws more INTs than completions, get yanked, then Towels for the rest of the season.

  10. thenamerobdigity
    9:01 pm May 15, 2012 Permalink

    #5 Joe Haden was considered a RB coming into Florida and he ended up being a starter as a freshman and a top 10 pick. Stop bashing every football move.

    I believe it this QB battle will be interesting. At least there are 3 options, someone has got to be decent.

  11. Will
    9:03 pm May 15, 2012 Permalink

    5… Marcus Caffey played the position all his life. Most of his bigger offers only offered because they wanted him as a CB. UK was the only team who said that they will give him a shot at RB.

  12. CATastrophe
    9:09 pm May 15, 2012 Permalink

    Doesn’t anyone care about putting a stop to stealing others’ handles?!

  13. CATastrophe
    9:58 pm May 15, 2012 Permalink

    12) yeah. I hate those guys.

  14. Duke sucks
    10:14 pm May 15, 2012 Permalink

    My guess Towels will be starting by week 6. Kid is the real deal. Only draw back is QB change half way into season means its already shot.

  15. jpgottbr
    11:37 pm May 15, 2012 Permalink

    If Joker is thinking about having Morgan Newton as a starter, then you know we are going to struggle. He did not show 1 ounce of ability last year! UK fans have supported UK football way beyond its results (look at the top-20 in attendance for 5 years straight during Brooks’ positive momentum), and when our has struggled mightily, and now has to replace soooo much, it looks like we are going to have a bad season. I wish I made what Joker does for not performing, yet being nice.

  16. Put in Richie
    7:00 am May 16, 2012 Permalink

    5 – Caffey is one of the highest rated recruits on our roster. He played for Grady in Atlanta and had offers from lots of major D-1 programs. Arkansas, South Carolina, and WVU are some schools that offered him as a cornerback, but his actual offer list was MUCH LONGER. A corner who is 6’0″ tall with 4.45 speed should transition very well here and should be considered a great thing for nexgt season.

    As far as the QB battle goes, it’s not a three way competition. A healthy Newton is no better than second string this year and that is only if Towles redshirts. The offense just doesn’t move with Newton because he can’t pass the ball. I’m really hoping that Smith takes this opportunity and we can really move the ball downfield this year.

  17. Darkhorse
    8:47 am May 16, 2012 Permalink

    No one seems to be talking about EKU transfer QB Jacob Russell…the kid had the longest running play of the second spring game, and threw the ball well seeing as he was playing with the 2nd team offense against the 1st team defense. Don’t count him out.

  18. jaws2
    10:40 am May 16, 2012 Permalink

    If Joker even considers Newton, that tells me he has NO business being the coach at UK. This is EXACTLY why I went from 16 season tickets to 2. I’ve had them since the stadium opened. If Joker is not gone at the end of the year I’ll be out for good.