Mark Stoops and Bobby Petrino coexisted in the same room for the annual Governor’s Cup press conference, held at the Frankfort Country Club on Tuesday.
The event surrounds a golf tournament and preceded Monday night’s reception at the Governor’s Mansion.
Each year the Governor’s Cup honors former Wildcats. This year’s honorees were former linebacker Marty Moore, former wide receiver/kick returner Derek Abney, and former running back Doug Kotar.
Several on Twitterville question why the two-day affair continues to exist, given the fact that the Cats and Cards don’t meet on the gridiron until late November. One of the answers is charity. Funds are raised and distributed to the Dare to Care and God’s Pantry Food Banks. Thus, I hope the event continues on indefinitely.
But back to football. A leaner version of Mark Stoops addressed the gathering and provided some insight into the Kentucky Football program.
Some interesting tidbits were:
— Drew Barker has been cleared for full-go workouts.
Barker is back and ready compete for the starting quarterback job after being limited during spring practice. He’s diligently worked to expedite rehabilitation. I’m personally happy for the former starter.
— Open competition exists at all positions including quarterback.
Mark Stoops confirmed his stance that every position is open for competition and that includes his signal callers. “Quarterbacks are no different even though everybody likes to write about it. You have to earn it every day.”
It appears that there will be a three-way competition. “Don’t discount Gunnar Hoak as well.”
— Not all the freshmen have reported.
The Cats reported to the Joe Craft Football Training Center on Monday. Summer school starts this week. When asked if all his newcomers are on campus; Stoops said, “Not all of them were there (team meeting) this morning.” He continued, “We expect all but two or three to be here for this summer.”
“Two or three” is a loaded statement and has the BBN feeling a tad bit anxious. Which two or three? Speculation abounds. This is an ongoing situation.
— Alvonte Bell is no longer on the team.
If you’re a regular listener of the Depth Chart Podcast then you’re familiar with the term “Suspension Season”. This refers to the period of time that starts when players report for summer workouts and continues all the way up until September openers. This is a dangerous stretch for suspensions and dismissals and is common across college football.
Preseason magazines and May-June predictions are fun, but “suspension season” has the tendency to alter rosters throughout the summer months. Stoops announced on Tuesday that senior DE Alvonte Bell has been dismissed for violation of team rules.
Ouch, here we go again. Regie Meant’s unexpected departure a year ago significantly impacted the front seven. Only time will tell how much the Bell situation will influence the DL depth chart and rotation. Kentucky’s lack of an organic, defensive line pass rush is the most pressing deficiency for the 2017 Wildcats. Bell was a projected starter and his absence will only magnify that personnel question mark.
Sophomores TJ Carter and Calvin Taylor will join junior Kengera Daniel in the fight for the starting role. I’d also expect a true freshman or two to compete for the spot. Josh Paschal, Jordan Wright, and Abule Abadi-Fitzgerald will get early, fall camp looks.
— It’s now or never for Matt Elam.
Mark Stoops, “He and I (Matt Elam) had a sit-down in mid-April about some things he needs to do. And, you know, it’s up to Matt. Matt is a good worker and does good things and everything that’s expected of him when he’s with us. There are sacrifices you have to make when you’re away from college and you’re away from your coaches. That’ll be up to Matt.”
Translation: The team sorely needs Matt Elam. He possesses the tools to be an upper-level, SEC defensive lineman. If he reaches his full potential or not is solely up to the senior from E’town. In other words, it’s now or never.
The Depth Chart Podcast will be taking a week off as we focus on the baseball Cat’s quest for Omaha. Let’s all get behind this team.