After rotating in with Ramsey Meyers through the first half of the season, this week Jervontius “Bunchy” Stallings moved into the first string spot at left guard.
“There’s really no difference. I’m just gonna prepare myself how I always prepare myself,” Stallings said after practice today.
The biggest difference is the opponent lined up across from him.
Stallings chose to attend Kentucky over Mississippi State. He finished his high school career in Alabama, but it all began in Mississippi where he lined up against current Miss. State defensive linemen: defensive end A.J. Jefferson and nose tackle Braxton Hoyett.
“I know a lot of those guys, so it’s gonna be fun.” He said with a wide smile, “It’s going to be VERY fun seeing the coaches who recruited me, seeing the guys I had on my official (visit).”
Even though he might be enticed to jaw a little more than usual, “I’m just going to let my play do the talk. But you never know, it could get chippy. I’m just going to let my play take control of the game and we’ll see if they’ll be talking afterwards.”
Bunchy hears what’s happening in Mississippi from his father. People from his hometown are talking about how big of a game it is, but his father and John Schlarman are there to remind him to prepare to do his job as usual.
“My dad has been a huge help.” He tells his son, “You know what you gotta do. Don’t go out here trying to do anything extra, just do what you’ve got to do.”
Schlarman echoes a similar sentiment. “You just can’t let your emotions get the best of you sometimes,” Schlarman said. “Go out there with the mindset that ‘hey I’m going to do my job.'”
If Bunchy continues to play well, all the pieces should fall into place. “The opportunity is big for us now and we realize that. We’ve never doubted ourselves from the jump.”