Drake Jackson was a special guest on Tuesday morning’s Leach Report for a friendly football discussion with the Voice of the Wildcats Tom Leach. Jackson had a lot to say about Kentucky football’s successful return to campus and what he thinks of how the program handled it all. As he put it, “we are probably handling it as well as you can.”
The center of the Big Blue Wall told Leach, “To be honest with you I think our strength and conditioning staff, our trainers, our equipment managers, everybody in involved, has done such an outstanding job of making it feel as normal as it can. I think our workouts haven’t been hampered in a bad way yet, so far; we are still getting good work in. The groups are smaller, but that’s OK.
“I think our strength coaches — Coach Hill, Coach Ed, all the others guys — I think that they are getting us prepared the way they normally would, and I honestly believe that, after talking to some of my buddies that play at other schools, I think that we are probably handling it as well as you can… I think it’s been positive. I think the guys are getting good work in and it’s just a very positive vibe all around.”
Leach noted player accountability will play a major role in keeping the train on the tracks as college football programs around the country navigate around COVID in their own ways, which opened the door for Jackson to brag on the maturity and leadership he sees in his teammates and coaches.
“We have so many returning players, so many starters, we’ve been having great continuity on our staff,” Jackson said. “There’s expectations here at Kentucky that we didn’t have when I first got here to college. I didn’t feel the same when I first got to college. Yeah we were working that way, but it just wasn’t the same. There’s more lines of communication, more accountability each day. I could go on and on about this, but absolute credit to everyone involved with how we’ve handled it. I think we’ve handled it pretty much as professionally as you can.”
For more from Jackson, I’ll direct you toward Leach’s podcast. Jackson opens up a little more about UK’s locker room, including its diversity and the team’s Black Lives Matter protest.
And there’s talk of that All-SEC offensive line earning universal respect.
“We’ve got about as much praise as an offensive line as you can get,” Jackson admitted. He credited Coach John Schlarman for building that group, giving it an edge and pushing them even harder through all of the offseason accolades.
Hear it all below: