Hello? Is this thing on? Is anyone out there? Helloooooooooo…
Ah, there you are. Sorry we lost you for a while; I’m so glad it wasn’t for good. The KSR server, which has been as dependable as Travis Ford at the foul line lately, decided to take a break from its web hosting duties and rolled over dead Monday night, leaving us separated and in the dark with no explanation. I noticed we were off the grid around 8:45 p.m. and immediately notified Hubby, the Master and Commander of this ship, to come to the rescue. He got things up and running again but not until the wee hours of the morning. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.
So who wants a 6:00 a.m. version of the News and Views? #TeamNoSleep does.
Monday was UK football media day, as you know, which marks the first full day of fall camp for the team, as you know. Mark Stoops kicked off the day with a 10:00 a.m. press conference at Commonwealth Stadium in front of several pastry-eating media members from various outlets across the state. He opened things up by announcing the absences of Alvonte Bell and Justin Day, two would-be newcomers who did not make the grades, therefore didn’t report to camp on Sunday. Bell and Day, both Joker Phillips recruits, were among the first to commit to Kentucky last summer. Stoops said he plans to help them find a new place to play but they will not be Wildcats this fall.
There are also academic concerns surrounding JUCO transfers Nate Willis and Melvin Lewis. ESPN Recruiting ranked Willis the eighth-best cornerback in junior college last season and he was expected to compete for a starting job right out of the gate, considering UK’s lack of depth and experience at the position. Lewis, unranked by all recruiting services, is a defensive tackle out of Compton, Ca. who had offers from Miami and Washington.
“We expect them to be here shortly,” Stoops said of the final two roster pieces. “How long that takes, we’ll see.”
UK added another wide receiver just in time for fall camp, wide receivers coach Tommy Mainord announced Monday. Joey Herrick, a JUCO teammate of UK tight end Steven Borden, joined the roster to provide much-needed depth at receiver. According to his profile on NCSASports.org, he is 6-foot-1, 205-pounds and runs a 4.42 40-yard dash. Sounds good to me. Suit him up.
Speaking of Steven Borden, his official headshot deserves some attention:
A big topic this month will be the quarterback competition and Stoops made it clear that all the guys will have an equal opportunity to win the job. He said, “I think as we go through camp and we build what we are doing here, there’s a trust factor there. Our players need to trust that we are going to put every one of them in a position to be successful and they have to trust and be confident that whoever is behind center can lead this team and help us win.”
Stoops said the decision will be his to make in the end with ‘heavy input’ from Brown, his offensive coordinator. When asked if he’ll consider using multiple quarterbacks, he said he hopes to have one guy by August 31 but if it takes game reps for one to emerge, then that’s what they’ll do.
Good news for the quarterbacks: Javess Blue reported to camp and will be good to go this season. Missing the summer didn’t hurt his expectations or confidence, either. He told Adam Lefkoe he plans to be the best wide receiver in UK football history.
Once the media dispersed for the afternoon and Stoops was alone with his players and staff, it was time to get to work in Day 1 of preseason camp. Stoops returned for more interviews after practice and he was happy to tell everyone how good the team looked.
“We’re a better football team than when we left spring, so I’m encouraged,” he told the media. “The guys did a lot of work in the summer. They’re more explosive; they’re in better shape. It’s nice to have more depth.”
Two injury notes from practice:
— Dyshawn Mobley is still recovering from surgery and will be out another week or so.
— Regie Meant has an infected cut on his hand and will sit out this week.
Players are sleeping in their normal housing for camp this year, a new policy instituted by Stoops. They stayed in dorm rooms during the Brooks and Phillips years. Stoops said it’s not worth the hassle to move into the dorms for just a short period of time and it allows the guys to rest up in their own beds. “We’ll see how it works. There’s good and bad in everything,” he added.
A quick break for basketball recruiting news: Emmanuel Mudiay cut his list down to Kentucky, Kansas, Oklahoma State, SMU and Baylor. Looks like another Calipari-Self showdown on the horizon.
It may be a little late.. But a #YAHTZEE may be brewing.. ðŸ˜Ž
— -Drew Barker- (@D_Barker7) August 6, 2013
Blake Bone, maybe?
This morning on Kentucky Sports Radio radio, Matt, Ryan and I will be in studio to recap our trip to Alaska before we bring in Josh Harrellson for an interview in the second hour. Be sure to tune in.
We’ll have plenty more quotes, notes and stories from media day throughout the week.