Yesterday Mrs. Tyler Thompson showed you the lighter side of the UK football media guide. Today I have a few takeaways that may not directly impact the play on the field, but are important to know heading into training camp.
1. Rigg Did Not get a Redshirt
Justin Rigg expected to play last year as a true freshman. Two games into the season he suffered a lacerated kidney while doing work on special teams. He missed the rest of the season, but returned in time to impress coaches during bowl practice.
Even though he played in two games, the coaches hoped he would receive a medical waiver to redshirt. Rigg is listed as a true sophomore on the roster. Even though he does not currently have the redshirt tag, it’s still probably on the table for later in Rigg’s career if he needs it.
2. Hughes is Officially a Cornerback
McCracken County athlete Zy’Aire Hughes started his career as a wide receiver. An injury to Kendall Randolph in spring practice left the Cats thin in the secondary. Mark Stoops opted to flip him to the other side of the ball and he appears to be happy with his decision. The redshirt freshman wears No. 13 and could play a significant role as a reserve nickel cornerback.
3. LARGE Kickers
Kentucky’s primary place-kickers, Austin MacGinnis and Miles Butler, fit the tiny kicker stereotype. The other three kickers do not.
- Matt Panton: 6’4″ 230 pounds
- Tyler Pack: 6’4″ 275 pounds
- Grant McKinnis: 6’1″ 210 pounds
I can confirm that Pack appears even larger in person. I hope I can say the same about Panton, the Aussie rugby kicker that transferred from Columbia.
4. Breakdown of Players by State
The Kentucky football team is comprised of players from 18 states and Australia. I’ll give you one guess which state makes up the majority of the team.
Congrats! You guessed OHIO! There are 34 players from the Buckeye state. Four of them are from Youngstown, where four UK coaches also call home — Mark Stoops, Vince Marrow, Steve Clinkscale and Director of Football Operations Frank Buffano. Here’s how the rest of the roster breaks down:
- Kentucky: 25
- Florida: 14
- Georgia: 9
- South Carolina: 3
- Maryland: 3
5. The Largest and Smallest Players on the Team
It should not surprise you that Matt Elam is the largest player on the team, listed at 360 pounds. He’s also the second-tallest at 6’7,” just two inches shorter the defensive tackle Calvin Taylor. The second-biggest player is 335-pound senior left tackle Cole Mosier.
It’s difficult to discern who is actually the smallest player on the team. Even though I’m sure a few guys are shorter than 5’9,” that’s the threshold UK does not cross. There are six players listed at 5’9″ and I’m pretty sure the two smallest are the Berezowitz brothers, Brayden and Bryan.
6. So Many Seniors
There are 19 seniors on the Mark Stoops 2017 team. Even if that isn’t the most seniors he’s ever had on a team, it’s the most seniors that have contributed. Along with 27 juniors, Stoops has 46 upperclassmen. I didn’t do the research, but I’m certain that’s the most in Stoops’ five years. Conversely, there are 17 sophomores and 43 freshmen (many of which are walk-ons).
7. Returning Starters
Even though Freddie picked apart the fallacies of this stat during our trip to SEC Media Days, it’s still worth noting because the number is much higher than normal. The Cats have 17 returning starters, nine on defense and eight on offense. If you want to include the four specialists, there are 21 returning starters in 2017.
8. Paschal is a Badass
The elite pass-rusher will wear No. 4 for the Wildcats. Remember the last pass-rusher who wore a single-digit? He scored a defensive touchdown to beat South Carolina and was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round of the NFL Draft.
Unfortunately, UK has not updated the height/weight of freshmen since National Signing Day. He was listed at 270 then, but we’re hearing that’s changed for the better since Paschal arrived on campus. The UK coaches knew he was good, but he’s already exceeding those lofty expectations.
9. We Ain’t Got No Moe
Moe Williams’ name was mentioned a lot last year, primarily because Benny Snell broke all of his freshman rushing records, but also because he was helping the team as a graduate assistant. After checking and double-checking, I could not find the former NFL star in this year’s media guide as an assistant. I’ll confirm later this week, but I do not believe he’ll officially be a part of the program in 2017.
10. Freddie Maggard is Popular in the Media Guide
Freddie Maggard receives a lot of love in the media guide, and it’s not just because he’s a part of the UK pregame show. Did you know Freddie was a three-time member of the All-SEC Academic Team? He plays dumb, but he’s really a master of trigonomics.
Freddie is still in the record books…for now. He’s currently at the bottom of the all-time passing list with 2,566 yards. Enjoy it now, because this year Stephen Johnson will probably knock him off his No. 15 spot. There are two numbers you can’t take away from him because they are single-season accomplishments. In 1989 and 1990 he led UK in passing yards and total offense.
Freddie isn’t the only member of the KSR team in the Media Guide.
Sorry Jared, I don’t have time to kiss your butt as much as they did. If you’d like to see all of Lorenzen’s accomplishments in this year’s Media Guide, you’ll find that and much more if you click here.