Sometimes things can surprise you. Sometimes when you have your mind made up that a particular result is likely, then all of a sudden things change and you ask yourself, “well could I be wrong?” That was the thought that ran through my head today after all the talk around UK Football’s Media Day 2006. Looking at this team and the attitudes of the players on it….maybe, just maybe, Kentucky could be better this year.
Over the last few years, it has always struck me that the players of the Kentucky football team have an amazingly good attitude, considering the standing of the football program. Having said that however, this season seems to be even better. Larry Vaught at Kentucky Sports Report commented that this was the best attitude he had seen from a Kentucky football team in many years. This conforms to all the talk around the program this year. This team is completely unified and EXCITED to get going. The burst of energy from the freshman class combined with a team that feels it has underachieved the last couple of years has caused an energy around this team that is unlike anything we have seen recently.
The 64,000 dollar question is whether this energy will translate to success on the field. I have my opinions about that and will save them for another day. However there is no doubt that there is a certain sense in the air around this program that the best days may be ahead…..and that is refreshing. Now a couple of tidbits on today’s festivities:
(1) It was hinted, actually more than hinted, that Andre Woodson is the current leader on the course at the QB position and the reason may not be what you think. Apparently not only has Woodson looked better on the field (and also in person, showing a new trim body), but he showcased a better performance in the classroom as well. “Taking care of business” is how one might term it. Pulley was not as successful at this and while the speculation that he might not be eligible is at this point just that, Woodson is winning the hearts and minds of the UK coaching staff both on the field and off.
(2) It was commented by more than one person that this is the BEST looking group of freshmen to arrive on campus in a dozen years. The players on this team look like big time Division I football players, with big time Division I bodies to match. Micah Johnson, Josh Minton, Corey Peters, etc all have the makeup of true players and not just “works in progress.” So much of what determines early playing time is the physical side of college football and these guys are showing early exactly why some of them may see the field.
(3) It has been said many times but Micah Johnson may end up being the most important UK player since Tim Couch if not before. This is a kid who has an energy that is unmistakable. He is polite, funny and outgoing, expressing comfort with the media and his burgeoning role as official spokesperson for these guys. He has continually expressed his desire to make a change in Kentucky, not just become a star himself (which he will). He and his brother are two of the nicest guys in Lexington and any team in the country would be lucky to have them. In three years, if this program is where Rich Brooks hope it is, consistently heading for bowls and competing for wins, Micah Johnson will be as important to that cause as anyone.
Even though this was “Media Day”, it was more “Picture day”, so little news exists. Practices gets hot and heavy next week. UK is keeping people out this year and thus news will be scarce. But if it exists, we will try and report it and make fun of it.