Kentucky resumed practice on Tuesday after enjoying a week off for spring break. Offensive coaches and players took to the podium in order to discuss the day’s events.
Offensive Coordinator Eddie Gran was first up and provided an offensive overview. Gran is direct, to the point, and does not often compliment. However, he and WR coach Lamar Thomas both raved about true freshman receiver Clevan Thomas. The rookie is playing both slot positions (yes they are somewhat different) and “mixing it up” as Gran would later say. Based on early comments from coaches and players alike, Thomas will most likely play in 2017 and is in the mix to replace the transferred Jeff Badet.
Offensive Coordinator Eddie Gran
Question: What was it like first day back from the guys?
Eddie Gran: “Little bit of a slow start, little sluggish but I thought they picked it up at the end. Go back to Install (offensive plays) on Thursday before we get into our first scrimmage on Saturday.”
Question: Was today the day to discuss Drew Barker’s availability?
Gran: “Yeah, he came in and got some reps. Got some reps in team, got some reps in one-on-one. Wanted to see where he’s at and how he feels after this. He got more reps today than other three practices. We’re going to take it nice and easy. We don’t have to go win a game here in the next couple weeks.”
Question: When you looked at WR cut ups on film, what did you see from WR’s, stuff they have to get better at this spring?
Gran: “This goes for the whole offense, it’s really the details. Competing every single rep. Going up making the tough catch. There will be competing going on. Discipline and details.”
Question: What about a young guy like (True freshman WR) Clevan Thomas where’s he in all this?
Gran: “He’s is pretty good (said with a chuckle). He battles, he’s understanding it, reminds me a little bit of Benny (Snell) in terms of his mentality and how’s he’s going about it. Now, lot of time left and all that. I sure do like where he’s at. Right now he’s playing both slot positions, playing F and the Y which is pretty good for a true freshman. He’s getting in there and mixing it up. I do like his toughness. He’s got mental toughness about him.”
Senior Right Tackle Kyle Meadows
Question: How much different is spring practice as a senior compared to your first one as a freshman?
Meadows: “It’s easier, slower, everything is at my pace now, I control tempo.”
Question: What’s your individual focus on this spring?
Meadows: “Mainly technique to finish pass blocking, working with two hands, dig outs, and down blocking. So mainly technique stuff.”
Question: How’s the offensive line clicking without Jon Toth, any different?
Meadows: “Not at all. Maybe like a leadership role we still have to figure out; but as far as the flow of the OL and game, nothing has changed.”
Question: Has Stephen Johnson taken a sterner leadership role this spring?
Meadows: “He’s done a tremendous job at what he’s doing. Transitioning from the beginning of the season to the bowl game to now, everything is following along for him.”
Question: What have you seen from Cole Mosier?
Meadows: “Improved his game completely, I try to base my game off his. There are things he does better than I do. Cole Mosier has worked his ass off to get to where he’s at. He’s put in a tremendous amount of work. Says a lot about him, shows that he cares. I applaud him for that completely. I look up to him because there’s things that I need to do better that he does to a T.”
Question: Which young defensive linemen are sticking out during one-on-one or team drills?
Meadows: “TJ Carter and Kordell Looney. Looney has a good motor, TJ Carter has good technique-good motor and discipline. By the time season rolls around or camp, they could be dominant.”
Question: Do you provide the rookie defensive linemen any help?
Meadows: “I try to give them a little help, little pointers like-you’re good at doing this, but here’s how you can counter that move. Try to give them as much insight as possible so they can get better.”
Defensive players and coaches will be available for interviews on Thursday. The Cats will conduct its first scrimmage on Saturday.