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Mark Stoops wants to Play up to Nine True Freshmen

The Kentucky football team has a wealth of experience on the 2017 roster with 17 returning starters, but head coach Mark Stoops believes up to nine freshmen can contribute this Saturday at Southern Miss.

In UK’s week one depth chart, six true freshmen make an appearance: left tackle Naasir Watkins, outside linebacker Josh Paschal, and four wide receivers, Lynn Bowden, Josh Ali, Clevan Thomas and Isaiah Epps.  In today’s press conference, Stoops added to the list NT Quinton Bohanna, CB Cedrick Dort and RB Bryant Koback.

Stoops told the freshmen at the start of camp to do what Benny Snell did, force the coaches to play them. “The nice thing about playing freshmen is because they jump out at you, not because you need them.”

Of all the true freshmen, the one you need to keep an eye on is Thomas.  Stoops said he will definitely play and “might be the first one in.”

In addition to the true freshmen, Stoops hopes Drew Barker can have a chance for redemption against Southern Miss.

“I would love to get Drew Barker into the game. He deserves an opportunity.”  Stoops added, “We have a lot of trust in Drew.”

Stephen Johnson is UK’s starting quarterback, but if all goes according to plan in Hattiesburg, Barker could log significant time in the second half.

Article written by Nick Roush

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

3 Comments for Mark Stoops wants to Play up to Nine True Freshmen



  1. dylan121815
    2:24 pm August 28, 2017 Permalink

    I can’t believe barker is #2 instead of gunner hoak. Hoak has had 2 great spring games. Barker has already proven once he gets hit hard its over for him. Southern miss in the 2nd half, the start of the Florida game , and the New Mexico State game. He’s sawft! It’s too late for drew. He should have left. Johnson is our guy. If not then it’s time to move on to hoak or maybe Clark .



    • ukkatzfan
      4:37 pm August 28, 2017 Permalink

      The reason you can’t believe that Barker is higher than Hoak is you have not seen everything and know everything that the coaches know. Johnson and Barker now are both a year older. And that year behind this team is a BIG year. I am sure that coaches with million dollar salaries are going to make their best decisions. Especially since college football is a real competition over your WWE which is S-A-W-F-T.



  2. Glenn Fohr
    3:44 pm August 28, 2017 Permalink

    Johnson is our guy. I agree that Barker should have left. Put our team leader out there for the game. Let him get the needed reps.