This is a man who refuses to be shown up by Kelenna Azubuike, Ramon Harris or Jared Carter.
Football news is expectedly slow right now with spring practice just ending, but there are a couple of things worth noting out there. Matt had Joker Philips on his radio show last week and he had some interesting things to say about this season, which I believe is going to be as exciting as either of the past two. He didn’t talk much about the defense (surprise, surprise), but there were a couple of interesting notes about the offense.
– The biggest question for the offense is obviously the quarterback position and right now, well, there isn’t much news. Joker said that the current competition between Mike Hartline and Curtis Pulley reminds him of Pulley’s battle with Andre Woodson before the 2006 season, which certainly can’t be bad. That is, of course, if one of these guy’s step up the way Woodson did. I’d still like to think that Pulley could make a move to wide receiver. But…
– Joker likes what he sees so far from the young WR’s. Aaron Boyd was the big name coming in to camp, but Joker also said that the progress made by fellow freshmen Eric Adeyemi and Gene McCaskill has been pleasing to the coaching staff. I think Kentucky fans are collectively concerned with this position because of the lack of experience, but there is actually quite a bit of talent stockpiled here by the staff and, if someone can get them the ball, the young players here have the physical abilities to step up and challenge DeMoreo Ford for playing time opposite of Dicky Lyons.
– The head coach-in-waiting also commented on not only the depth, but the quality of the offensive line and running back positions. The offensive line has been a priority dating back to the Guy Morriss era and (as usual) doesn’t quite get the pub that the skill positions do. The emphasis on the line has given UK one of the most athletic and skilled offensive lines in a long time. The same goes for the running backs. They’re all fast and they all know the system. According to Joker, it’s a toss-up right now as to who gets the most carries.
– I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told myself “If Jared Carter can do it, then I know I can.” Well, apparently UK Special Teams Player of the Year Tim Masthay is from the same school of thought. The punter from Murray will be spending the next two weeks in Ghana as part of the UK Education Abroad program. The program is primarily set up as a study opportunity for the students, but they will be taking part in service projects at schools and orphanages while there also. If you’re not familiar with Masthay’s bio, check him out. Not only is he a pretty good punter and Second Team Academic All-American, he also does some solid charity work and wants to go into the Peace Corps. Quality kid.
– Nutter Fieldhouse is getting a new playing surface installed beginning this week to replace the surface that it’s had since 1993. The new FieldTurf surface is a mix of sand and rubber particles that is used in 22 NFL stadiums and is designed to improve the safety for the athletes. The field is expected to be finished in June and is the sixth upgrade to the facility in the last three years and one that, according to Joe Fields, CEO of FieldTurf, will provide “Coach Brooks and his team with a state-of-the-art turf field that will be the finest in the SEC“. Mitch Barnhart’s six upgrades to the Nutter Fieldhouse have now cost almost $4.5 million. That’s what I call taking the program seriously.
Well, that’s pretty much it. Not a whole lot else going on besides the class of 2008 taking your local NFL field by storm. Here are a couple of links to updates on what they’ve been up to:
– According to a video on the Buffalo Bills site, Stevie Johnson and Marshawn Lynch have a “Bay Area Bond”. Sorry for not having the direct link, but I’ve never used a computer. It’s one of the videos on the main page.
– Stories about Andre Woodson’s fall in the draft or about his quad injury are everywhere. Feel free to look them up. I’m over those two stories. Here’s a little piece about how Woodson fits in witht the Giants.
– Rafael Little has already been talked out of his choice of jersey number by Titans head coach Jeff Fisher. It turns out there was some guy that wore it before who rubbed his teammates (and strippers) the wrong way.
– The Colts released TE Bryan Fletcher, who in the process became the first NFL player to fall victim to the force that is Jacob Tamme. Also, if you’re not convinced by anything I’ve written that anyone can have an internet writing career, this site believes Tamme is a blocking TE and was drafted for that reason.
– I thought this was LeVar Burton at first, but he wasn’t wearing those Star Trek glasses. This is definitely Keenan Burton at his first Rams Mini-Camp.
– Not a whole lot out there about Wesley Woodyard and Eric Scott, but this Denver Bronco fan blog seems to like the linebacker from Kentucky. Pretty good write-up.
So, that’s about it for football right now. I know we got you amped up with the preview of Marlon Brown a few weeks ago and then hit the wall, but recruiting profiles are about to be coming at you all fast and furious, so be prepared.