The University of Kentucky released its first depth chart on Monday. Most spots were predictable given the high number of returning starters on both sides of the football. However, there were a few notable observations that will significantly impact Saturday’s outcome against the Auburn Tigers.
- Have to start with true freshman Beau Allen being Terry Wilson’s backup. Simply stated, the rookie has enjoyed a tremendous training camp which is evident by him jumping over grad transfer Sawyer Smith.
- Kenneth Horsey won the left guard competition. This position battle has been a topic of conversation ever since Logan Stenberg played his last game as a Wildcat. Austin Dotson is backing up Luke Fortner on the right side. Another surprise is Eli Cox being named as Horsey’s backup. Coach John Schlarman is known for rotating offensive linemen in game situations. The number of snaps the backup guards get against Auburn will be something to track.
- QB Beau Allen is the lone true freshman listed on the 2-deep. WRs Izayah Cummings and Michael Drennen Jr. have been mentioned during camp. Same can be said about RB JuTahn McClain. I wouldn’t count these rookies out of the equation just yet. A 10-game SEC schedule will test depth and development.
- There’s an Isaiah Epps sighting on the second team behind Josh Ali. Epps missed 2019 with a foot injury.
- Offensive tackle sees two new names listed on the second team. JUCO standout Jeremy Flax is behind right tackle Darian Kinnard and the 6’9 Nick Lewis is backing up Landon Young on the left side.
- No true freshman defensive lineman cracked the 2-deep. This has more to do with returning experience than a knock on the highly-talented foursome. I’d expect one or more seeing meaningful snaps in 2020.
- Vito Tisdale is listed as the number two Nickel. The Bowling Green product has produced during camp and earned a spot on the 2-deep.
- Tyrell Ajain is named the starter at strong safety. Quandre Mosely played well in the Wildcat secondary a year ago. There will be a bunch of mix and matching in the secondary as the position group is deep and talented.
- The inside linebacker backups will experience game reps either for the first time in college or at a new position. JUCO transfer Marquez Bembry and will see his first collegiate action against the Tigers. He will backup Jamin Davis. Jared Casey moves from outside to the inside behind DeAndre Square.
Depth charts are fluid, especially in a year like 2020. Remember that on Saturday as we’ll most likely see more names on the field than are listed on the 2-deep. There is a bit of gamesmanship that occurs going into the opening game.