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8 Things You Missed from UK Spring Football During March Madness

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While you were busy losing your mind over the Kentucky Wildcats’ run in the NCAA Tournament, the Kentucky football team was putting in work on the gridiron. To help prepare you for next Friday’s spring game, here’s what you missed through the first ten practices.

1. Stoops is Losing his Hair

Kentucky’s head coach is building a brand new secondary. While four or five defensive backs prepare to get drafted, Stoops only has two sure things in spring practice, Davonte Robinson and Jordan Griffin. The safeties have some in-game experience. The same cannot be said about his cornerbacks. How will he find the right fit?

I’ll lose a little more hair, get a little more gray,” Stoops said Monday.

Right now there’s a rotating cast of characters vying for playing time. Jamari Brown, Cedrick Dort and JUCO transfer Quandre Mosely are just a few names in the mix. The one that’s wowed Terry Wilson the most is Brandin Echols. Unlike Mosely, who played safety in junior college, Echols has JUCO experience playing on an island.

“He’s been flying everywhere,” Wilson said. “He’s been making big plays. He’s really fast and I’d say he’s a ball-hawk. He’s always where the ball is. He’s really fast. You can tell he knows how to play his position.”

I can personally confirm Wilson’s endorsement. While watching one practice, Echols was one of the few that could consistently keep up with Lynn Bowden.

2. Bowden’s Hair is Gone too

Mark Stoops said, “I didn’t recognize him for a second,” when Bowden strolled into his office one afternoon. The difference is striking.

As Lynn watches his old teammates sell themselves to NFL administrators, he’s making some changes to secure the bag.

I’m just working on my image,” Bowden said. “I really didn’t feel like I was presenting myself good for the fans with my hair, so I’m just trying something new.”

Bowden’s also taken steps to become one of Kentucky’s vocal offensive leaders. Maturity has never been one of his strengths, but this year it’s all business.

“He’s really engaged in what we’re doing,” said offensive coordinator Eddie Gran. “We’re using him in a lot of spots so he’s gotta know a lot. He does and he gets guys lined up. He’s coaching. Being in his third year now, he’s a better receiver. He’s getting in and out of breaks different. He’s understanding leverage from defensive backs. He’s seeing coverages a little bit better. He’s still gotta get better, but you can see the progress with him.”

Gran is being modest. Bowden is moving at a different speed than everyone else. His routes are crisp and his cuts are clean. Huncho is going to be a bad man this fall.

“If I do get the ball to him and there’s two guys in front of him, he’s going to make somebody miss,” Wilson said. “It’s a good feeling knowing that I can trust him.”

3. Emerging Pass-Catchers

Terry Touchdown can’t throw every pass to Bowden. Luckily, others are stepping up. Redshirt freshman tight end Keaton Upshaw has received a ton of praise for his ability to make plays in space and use his big body to catch passes over defenders. Josh Ali is the most consistent outside receiver, safely securing a spot as Wilson’s No. 2 target.

There are quite a few young wide receivers that have made jaw-dropping plays, yet for each high, there’s an equal low. Between Clevan Thomas, Allen Dailey, Bryce Oliver and B.J. Alexander, at least one will play a significant role in the offense. Who will separate themselves from the pack will be determined in preseason camp.

4. No Serious Injuries

Ahmad Wagner has unfortunately not been able to consistently participate, missing practices on and off with a lingering hamstring problem. Upshaw is dealing with a hammy, Kash Daniel has not been full-go and Bowden and Kavosiey Smoke were sidelined during practice ten.

There have been quite a few guys “banged up,” but luckily nothing serious. One player returning from a serious injury, Landon Young, has been excellent.

He hasn’t missed a rep. That’s pretty good for coming off that injury,” said Gran. “It’s like nothing ever happened to him. He looks stronger.”

5. Creating a Cohesive Offensive Line

John Schlarman now has a healthy Landon Young at left tackle, but he lost an All-American and a four-year starter on the right side of the line. Luke Fortner, Mason Wolfe and Darian Kinnard all have plenty of talent and game experience, but continuity only comes with time.

“The talent is there. We just have to get those guys to gel,” said Drake Jackson. “The thing with O-line, it’s not all about talent. It’s not all about speed and size. You gotta be able to work well with each other.”

6. A Dominant Defensive Line

Josh Allen isn’t rushing passers off the edge, but Stoops believes the middle of his defensive line is the best he’s ever had at Kentucky. It all starts with Quinton Bohanna. Hampered by injuries last season, the nose guard is transforming into one of the most talented interior defensive lineman in the SEC.

Alongside Bohanna, T.J. Carter and Calvin Taylor provide consistency. Phil Hoskins and Josh Paschal are explosive athletes. Kordell Looney and Marquan McCall are fighting for playing time too, giving Stoops’ defensive line at least six solid contributors.

7. “Tuesday’s with C.J.” Lives On

C.J. Conrad is no longer with the program, but the Kentucky Children’s Hospital is still hosting Kentucky football players each week. Max Duffy and Grant McKinniss have taken the mantle and rebranded it as “Specialists Visiting Special Kids.”

@UKFootball

 8. Terry Wilson’s Growth

A year ago Terry Wilson was just trying to learn the offense. This year he’s learning how to make the offense he led to ten wins more explosive.

“I think Terry is definitely making improvement. We got a long way to go, but you can see it,” said Gran. “The biggest thing is now we’re trying to get the ball downfield, so there is some new stuff. That’s what you can do in the spring. He just looks more comfortable back there. He’s not moving around and stepping up when you’ve got stuff coming; he’s sitting there. He’s able to make some plays a little bit quicker and making decisions quicker.”

Without Benny Snell in the picture, Kentucky’s offense is changing. A.J. Rose, Chris Rodriguez and Smoke can handle their fair share of carries, but most of the offensive production will fall on Wilson’s shoulders. This spring Terry Touchdown is embracing the challenge to prepare for another successful fall campaign.

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Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

15 Comments for 8 Things You Missed from UK Spring Football During March Madness



  1. Bobbum Man
    6:15 pm April 3, 2019 Permalink

    I’m not sure I see the connection with bowdens hair and he not presenting a good image to the fans but if it makes him happy then more power to him



    • Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
      7:52 pm April 3, 2019 Permalink

      What he did after that late hit that took the lady down proves he has good character especially considering the defender that caused it didn’t. It also helped his cause that he found her after the game to check on her. Cutting his hair maybe more suited towards endorsements and scouts/coaches that judge a book by it’s cover.



    • N-UR-i
      8:48 pm April 3, 2019 Permalink

      Exactly Thereuthshallsetbennyfree. As soon as I saw that he could date my daughter



  2. Tom Bombadil
    7:54 pm April 3, 2019 Permalink

    Very nice article Nick! Very informative. Thx for the update. Looking forward to this team. Go Cats!!



  3. CoachCat
    8:12 pm April 3, 2019 Permalink

    8 things Wilson missed at spring practice. 8 out of 8 passes



    • bwise
      8:19 pm April 3, 2019 Permalink

      Haha bingo! Nick blows terrible terry always. I think him and turnover terry are dating.



    • Le Docteur
      8:44 pm April 3, 2019 Permalink

      It’s nice that he at least doesn’t try to hide that he’s got an out of control man crush..



    • mashburnfan1
      9:27 pm April 3, 2019 Permalink

      No idea how good TW is or will be, we did not get to see it last year with the play calling. I do know he was the only QB on the roster last year that we win 10 games and Citrus Bowl with. Saw some good and some bad last year with him but also taking into account he was basically a FR at this level. He did play well at UF, he looked good on last drive at Mizzou but looked horrible at UT. I think he can be very good and hope he does progress and Gran calls plays down the field.



  4. makeitstop
    8:18 pm April 3, 2019 Permalink

    Agreed – nice article and Lynn growing up and realizing that while image isn’t everything, it is part of ur narrative and u want to define it. He now says “I’m serious AND I’m good AND I care what u think.” That’s what teammates and agents and employers want to see.



  5. BLUE WHITE
    8:45 pm April 3, 2019 Permalink

    Why wasn’t gran trying to get the ball downfield last year lol?



    • ClutchCargo
      9:40 am April 4, 2019 Permalink

      Because it was more important to take care of the ball and maximize time of possession with the strong running game.



    • kjd
      12:26 pm April 4, 2019 Permalink

      If the run game becomes a force this year, the ball will once again be taken away from Terry TO.



  6. syrin23
    10:39 pm April 3, 2019 Permalink

    KSR really doesn’t help it’s team by over stating how great things are. Terry has a LONG way to go. We’ll see how much he’s improved, but I doubt it’s as much as they claim. Remember, we had a ton of articles telling us Nick Richards was the best player on the team going into the season.



    • Shagaris Sock Puppet
      9:21 am April 4, 2019 Permalink

      “I think Terry is definitely making improvement. We got a long way to go,

      Read that now because it was in the article dumba$$. Probably couldnt do 20 straight pushups yet here you are complaining about a college football player on a blog site.



    • syrin23
      1:25 pm April 4, 2019 Permalink

      When you get done rogering your brother over your amazing 20 pushups which is what I sue as a warm up for chest and back day, perhaps it will dawn on you that push ups are not a marker of anything other than some over blown teen ego. The article WAY over stated Terry’s progress despite ONE cautionary sentence. But hey, I bet you can also do six pull ups before rogering your cousin Biff too, right?