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Stoops has Multiple Options to Replace Jon Toth

Mark Zerof | USA Today

Mark Zerof | USA Today

Mark Zerof | USA Today

Normally spring football in Kentucky is surrounded by questions at quarterback.  This year’s most important position competition isn’t about the signal-caller, it’s about the guy who’s snapping him the ball.

Jon Toth started 48 consecutive games at center.  Toth was the leader of the offensive line, calling assignments and protections for the front five.  Last year the Cats subbed two-deep at every position on the offensive line, except center, giving Toth every possible snap.  Finding a replacement will not be easy, but Stoops likes his options.

“I do think that we have some options starting with Bunchy (Stallings), with the experience that he has,” Stoops said at today’s press conference.  “I think we have a lot of confidence in Drake (Jackson), but he is a redshirt freshman, and with Bunchy, you have the physicality you’re looking for, you have the experience you’re looking for.  He’s very athletic. And we feel like we have some really good options at guard.”

Stallings is the apparent clubhouse leader heading into the spring.  Former High School All-American Drake Jackson is in just his second spring practice.  Redshirt freshman Luke Fortner could also potentially play center, but as of now he is strictly focusing on playing guard.

Even if Jackson can’t beat out Bunchy, there will be an opportunity for him to play.  Whoever wins the starting center spot will not be the only one snapping the football this season.

“I believe when it’s all said and done, by the time we get to game one, we’ll have a two deep across the board,” Stoops said.

Article written by Nick Roush

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