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Stoops gives insight on the depth chart in today’s practice notes

The Cats treated today like a Tuesday game-week practice, running against a UT-Martin scout team for the first time.  It was a Tuesday-type practice, but Stoops dropped roster news like it was a Monday press conference.

–  Stoops said during his Media Day press conference the he expects 12-13 freshmen to play right away.  After a month of practice, Stoops knows which freshman are ready to go.  On offense all five wide receivers will play (Snodgrass, Baker and Bone outside; TV and Johnson inside) and both running backs (powerful Horton and speedy Boom) will see the field.  On the other side of the ball, Matt Elam and nickelback Kendall Randolph (a favorite of Stoops) are the only freshman locked in for playing time.  It isn’t quite 12-13, but Stoops is anxious to use his new weapons.

–  What might be more newsworthy is who isn’t on Stoops’ list.  Lloyd Tubman could have cracked onto the list, but an injury caused him to miss about a week during a critical segment of camp.  Tubman and many of the other big guys (like Josh Krok) will wear a redshirt with their quarterback Drew Barker.

Stoops is ready to let his young quarterback learn, “I think we would like to (redshirt) if we could.  I think that would be in his best interest and our best interest.  We’ll see how that goes.  He will prepare to play in a backup role, and if we can save him through the season that’s what we’d like to do.”

–  Boom Williams walked off the practice field earlier this week hold his left hand in pain.  Stoops laughed off the “injury”,  “He’s fine, he got a boo-boo on his wrist.”

–  Demarco Robinson’s status for next week is uncertain.  Robinson has spent the offseason and fall camp making amends with the coaches after several off the field incidents.  He’s been doing all of the right things, but Stoops will not make a decision on Demarco until next week.

–  Jason Hatcher will start at defensive end in the 3-4.  Hatcher hasn’t been mentioned too much this preseason, despite an exceptional freshman year.  It’s easy to forget about the guy behind Bud and Za’Darius on the depth chart, but Stoops’ defense needs his energy and attitude on the field, “Very proud of the way he’s playing,” Stoops said.  “I really like Jason’s attitude.  He’s really matured – he’ll be the first one to tell you – and just really playing well.”

–  Neal Brown’s offensive line is set.  Darrian Miller and Jordan Swindle had secured their spots at tackle going into camp, but Kyle Meadows will see a lot of snaps as their backup.  Jon Toth put on an extra 20 pounds to pass the 300-mark and solidify his spot at center.  After struggling to keep his spot at left guard last season, Zach West showed maturity this offseason to ensure that no one is stealing his spot.  Ramsey Meyers has secured a spot at the opposite guard, where Teven Eatmon-Nared and Cole Mosier will also see some reps.

–  The running back position doesn’t need a “starter.”  The coaches are going to do their best to spread the ball around, but Neal Brown said today that Chad Scott will ultimately have the decision as to who’s getting the first reps, “We’re going to play the hot hand.”

–  Neal Brown has found Steven Borden’s niche.  Brown admitted that he didn’t know how to utilize Borden’s versatile skill set that well in his first year.  He expects Borden to take a HUGE jump forward after learning more about the game and improving as a wide receiver, “He’s a lot more comfortable in the backfield than he is probably spread out.  He can do both, but he’s probably more comfortable in that fullback, h-back type role.  He understands in the run game that people are going to move.  The movement kind of got him last year when he was playing tight end.”

Article written by Nick Roush

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

12 Comments for Stoops gives insight on the depth chart in today’s practice notes

  1. NL
    4:37 pm August 22, 2014 Permalink

    I am surprised that they will not redshirt TV. It doesn’t speak well of the returners. He clearly has the skills to play but could use the year lifting more than any other freshman

    • Common Sense
      4:45 pm August 22, 2014 Permalink

      Can’t redshirt a player when there’s no depth at that position. He’s too athletic and fast to redshirt, plus he doesn’t drop the ball. He’s already added 15 pounds since he enrolled and is actually the same weight as demarco robinson…a senior…

  2. UKfanNKY
    4:43 pm August 22, 2014 Permalink

    Lets get this started I can’t wait till next Saturday……..GO CATS!!!

  3. MustangCat
    5:26 pm August 22, 2014 Permalink

    No kidding!! Can’t wait!! Hope we can stay healthy, and beat some teams! If we can get to that magical 6 win status!?! Recruiting will go through the roof! Harris is sounding good. Hard to believe Stoops has us to where we have an honest shot with a kid like that!?! He would help in recruiting too!! He might get a few others on board. We will be much better on both sides of the line, and that makes a world of difference. I still think we got a legit shot at Florida, even in the swamp. Control the line of scrimmage, and you win most games. Dominate the line, and you blow out city!

    • uk 78
      5:29 pm August 22, 2014 Permalink


    • UKfan
      10:41 am August 23, 2014 Permalink

      If our linebackers do better than expected and our secondary improves, then I will agree with you. I like our DE and Defensive Line.

  4. Confused but excited
    7:32 pm August 22, 2014 Permalink

    This says Jason Hatcher will start at Defensive end. How is that possible with Za’darius and Bud? I assume both of them will start, and you can’t start more than 2 defensive ends…

    • Thomas
      8:14 pm August 22, 2014 Permalink

      Bud will probably be stood up as a linebacker in the 3-4

    • UKfan
      10:43 am August 23, 2014 Permalink

      Exactly. They will drop Bud back and let him play LB. He is such a versatile player. I wish we had more like him.

  5. Regular Guy
    11:18 pm August 22, 2014 Permalink

    @ Confused it says in the 3-4. The base defense will be 4-3 with Z and Bud starting at end. In a 3-4 Bud will probably play LB and all three will be in the field

  6. BluKudzu
    8:52 am August 23, 2014 Permalink

    I am optimistic on the opportunity for us this year, but also a realist as well. I am looking for
    Improvement more than Ws this season. If we get 6 great, if we don’t and play better than last year, I am fine with that as well. I can’t wait. The two wins last year were nothing to brag about due to the type of the teams we played.
    This year, we will see if the hype matches performance.
    Go CATS!

    • UKfan
      10:45 am August 23, 2014 Permalink

      Last year was a sacrificial year. Just look at the offense we were forced to play because of weak QB arm strength. I see much improved in getting the ball through the air this year, even with a stacked backfield.