It’s been a football-heavy few days on the site, but after Matt, Drew, and I all got to be around the coaches and players at different functions this weekend, can you blame us? The excitement around the program is contagious right now, and forty days away from the opener, the start of the season is finally in sight.
I already gave you some quick hitters from the Women’s Clinic on Saturday, but here are some notes that are still floating around my head…
DJ Eliot is now an entertainer
When he first arrived at Kentucky, Eliot came off as kind of a shy guy who didn’t seem very comfortable talking in front of big groups. What a difference two years makes. We’ve noticed how good Eliot has been on KSR in various guest hosting duties, and he was a total ham at the Women’s Clinic, keeping the women laughing and engaged the entire time. He also had the second best line of the day when he said “God gave us 10 rules, the NCAA gave us 500 pages.” (The best line goes to Chad Scott, who said “Ladies, we’re going bowling,” and dropped the mic.)
He’ll be here all season, folks.
Shannon Dawson has never run the Wildcat offense
The South Carolina win was a popular topic at the clinic, and when a fan asked if we can expect to see the Wildcat package with JoJo more this season, Shannon Dawson admitted he’s never run the Wildcat before.
“I’ve never ran the Wildcat, don’t know much about it to be honest with you,” Dawson said to the crowd’s panicked disbelief. “It’s not something I’m against running, I just don’t know much about it. I’ll do anything for a first down.”
There you go. Much better. Cheers all around.
Fullback Will Thomas Collins’ nickname is “Taco Meat”
Vince Marrow said a little bit about each of the tight ends and fullbacks he coaches, and shared the story behind junior fullback Will Collins’ nickname, “Taco Meat.” At last year’s Bourbon and Cigars event, Collins’ uncle came up to Marrow and told him how Will ate an entire fridge full of ground beef, like several pounds, in one day, ruining his uncle’s plans to make spaghetti sauce. Hence, he is now “Taco Meat.”
Marrow says he’s expecting big things from Taco Meat, along with defensive tackle Jacob Hyde, who will moonlight as fullback at times this season. “Wait ’til you see this joker line up in the back field at fullback,” Marrow laughed. “6’2″ 330 lbs. and he clears guys out.”
Walking out onto the field for the first time will take your breath away
We’ve all seen the new press box and suite levels in pictures, but seeing them in person for the first time is remarkable. We got to go through the players’ old tunnel onto the field and the transformation is stunning, the new press box towering over the field in imposing fashion. The structure gives Commonwealth a much more intimidating feel, especially since it faces the visitor’s sideline. Commonwealth Stadium has never been a very striking stadium, but this is a striking feature that finally puts it it on the same level as other stadiums in the SEC. The structure’s height and side panels will also help keep crowd noise inside, so hopefully we’ll not only see a difference this fall, we’ll hear it too.
Rene Cornette’s got speed
I was looking at the videos on my phone this afternoon and noticed Rene Cornette — of “Succeed and Proceed” fame — blazing by in this drill:
– Tyler Thompson (@MrsTylerKSR) July 27, 2015
While the rest of the ladies jogged by, Rene was out there trying to get a scholarship.
Chantel Stoops says LSU fans threw beer and spat on her and fellow coaches’ wives
A fan asked which program’s fans are the most hostile to the wives and families when they travel, and although Chantel Stoops said she and her fellow wives haven’t encountered any bad behavior from opposing fans during their time at UK, when her husband was an assistant at another school, LSU fans threw beer on them, spit on them, and screamed obscenities at them throughout the game. Chantel didn’t say which school Mark was working for at the time, but considering she said they got clobbered by the Tigers, I’m going to guess it was Arizona, who lost to LSU 45-3 in Baton Rouge in 2006, when Stoops served as the Defensive Coordinator and Defensive Backs coach. Stay classy, Tiger fans.
Matt Elam is a frequent guest at the Stoops’ house
On Friday, Mark Stoops told a story about how he and Matt Elam hung out until 1:30 a.m. one night watching an MMA fight, and when asked for additional anecdotes about players hanging out at the Stoops’ house, Chantel Stoops said Matt Elam comes over pretty often to hang out in the pool with them and the kids. “He just gets a little lonely,” Chantel said. “We’re always very open to that.”
This video is my favorite from the event
Rene’s sprint was great, but this tackle by Beth is a classic:
Can someone make sure all the linebackers see this?
Coming up on Wednesday: An in-depth feature on Erik Korem and the new training facility. I got to speak to Korem at the Clinic and was blown away by what he had to say about the facility and the impact his high-performance program is having on the players. Stay tuned…