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Monday Night Football Notes: What You Missed at SEC Media Days

© Dale Zanine | USATSI

© Dale Zanine | USATSI

The annual pilgrimage of grumpy media folks to Hoover, Alabama is now complete. It officially reached a conclusion when they selected South Carolina two spots higher than Kentucky in the preseason predicted order of finish in the SEC East, a tradition unlike any other.

It’s quite baffling to try to understand how South Carolina could be picked to finish that high in the division, based on schedule alone. This year out of the West they play Alabama and Texas A&M. Their non-conference schedule is stupefying. Even though that does not count toward SEC standings, an early loss to North Carolina could completely derail their season. The Gamecocks are more likely to finish 4-8 than for UK to finish 6-6.

Despite the “disrespect,” the Cats did not hammer the underdog card. They did not temper expectations either. Each player said in some shape or form that the team could be just as good, if not better, in 2019. That’s the kind of confidence fans love to see, even if the people who cover SEC football do not share their perspective.

Stenberg’s Confidence Stems from Wrestling

Every Wildcat fan knows Lynn Bowden’s name, but not everybody was previously well acquainted with Logan Stenberg — unless he was flagged for extracurricular activities, something he’s working on this fall. Even after speaking with him a handful of times over the last two years, I did not realize just how delightful and charismatic the preseason third team All-SEC offensive guard is.

The Alabama native is cut from the same cloth as Kash Daniel. The chaw dogs are incredibly entertained by wrestling, although Stenberg isn’t the biggest fan of the modern WWE. (“It’s a little baby for me now; I don’t enjoy it as much.”) While watching reruns from the good ole days, Stenberg has learned lessons from Stone Cold Steve Austin and the Macho Man Randy Savage.

“It’s not normal to play in front of 100,000 people, so you kind of got to be a little crazy and go into it with a false confidence,” Stenberg said. “Really I like to tune into that and get as confident as possible, play as hard as possible and see what happens.”

Paschal’s Offseason Dedication

Almost a year removed from his cancer diagnosis, Josh Paschal is still recovering from a handful of surgeries that removed malignant melanoma from the bottom of his foot. How much it will affect his productivity in the 2019 season remains a mystery, but Kash Daniel knows Paschal will be working relentlessly to return to form.

“Josh is a great teammate of mine,” he said. “He comes to work each and everyday with a smile on his face, ready to get better.”

Kash shared a story from a day where Paschal went the extra mile. “Wednesday is usually our day off, but I can’t sleep past 6:45. I’m so used to waking up for workouts. I woke up, couldn’t go back to sleep, so I decided to do a workout, not too much stuff, maybe get some field work in. Forty-five minutes later, here comes Josh. ‘I saw an Instagram story, you were up in here, so I had to get one too.’ That just tells you the kind of guy he is and how hard he’s willing to work to get back out there on the field, help this team win and get back to a bowl game.”

All of KSR’s Coverage from SEC Media Days

Drake Jackson is Kentucky Proud

The center on this year’s Rimington Award watch list has spent his summer as a research intern for Kentucky’s industrial hemp pilot program. You’ll be intrigued to see what all that entails.

Big Things Poppin’

Something has been in the works around the KSR compound for a few months to help prepare you for the upcoming Kentucky football season. For every diehard Kentucky football fan, this will be music to your ears, a.k.a pads popping on a cool August morning.  You’ll see the fruits of our labor later this week.

Happy Birthday Stevie Johnson!

Remember that time he got loose? That was fun.

It was almost as fun as that time he scored the game-winning touchdown in the third overtime to beat the top-ranked LSU Tigers.


Article written by Nick Roush

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