Kentucky’s football team begins practice with a few players who are still recovering from injury and a late addition from Cleveland.
Torrance Davis committed to Kentucky at a summer camp last June. After not signing in December or February, few speculated that Davis would still become a Wildcat. Today Mark Stoops announced the former three-star running back will be on the roster… as a linebacker.
“Torrance Davis is a late addition for our class,” Stoops said. “As most of you know, Torrance was a two-way player. He could play linebacker or running back. With our need at inside linebacker Torrance has agreed to start inside, so we’re happy to add Torrance to our roster out of Cleveland, a very versatile player with a lot of playmaking ability.”
Davis will be needed in Chris Oats‘ absence. The former four-star recruit and rising junior suffered a medical emergency this spring. Not expected to play this fall, Stoops was happy to share a positive update on Oats’ status.
“Chris is doing better. He definitely has a long road to recovery. He has moved to a rehab facility. That’s all I really want to touch on out of respect to Chris and his family. We are certainly always praying for Chris, the whole team. We want to recognize and honor him at some point. But he’s certainly battling and getting better.”
Staying on the defensive side, Abule Abadi-Fitzgerald is still recovering from an injury sustained this spring and not quite 100 percent. On the other side of the line of scrimmage, Stoops will take extreme caution as quarterback Nik Scalzo continues rehabilitating his right knee.
“Nik’s not totally 100 percent cleared yet. With Nik, I want to be smart and overly cautious with him,” said Stoops. “We have some depth at the quarterback position this year. He’s coming off two knee surgeries in back-to-back years. I want to really give him the opportunity to heal up. He’s so anxious and ready to get out there.”
Stoops’ injury forecast was cloudy when directed to Isaiah Epps. Projected to be a valuable deep-threat at wide receiver in 2019, the Oklahoma native broke his foot during training camp. Expected to miss approximately six weeks, that turned into an entire season, one he was able to redshirt. Now almost a year later, Stoops says Epps still is not 100 percent ready to return to the gridiron.
“Isaiah is getting better. He’s had some issues. It’s been a problem — there’s no denying that — with the foot. We feel like we’re on the right track. He’s certainly getting better, healing up properly and really excited to see him get back out there. I know he is as well.”
If Epps is unable to compete for the starting Z-wide receiver position, Louisville Butler product Tae Tae Crumes is a candidate to clock early snaps, along with Bryce Oliver, a redshirt sophomore who caught six passes for 111 yards and a touchdown in 2019.