– Only 14 offensive lines in the country return more starts than the Cats. John Schlarman’s squad has combined for 89 starts. Their experience made things more fluid in the first week of practice. Yes, there are still some pre-snap penalties here and there, but Stoops has noticed a difference in the vets, “I see us more consistent. I see more guys instead of just one or two,” Stoops said. “Then when you plug in a young guy, it’s maybe not as noticeable.”
The young guy they’ve been plugging in is Big George Asafo-Adjei. Filling in for Kyle Meadows (migraine) as the first string right tackle, the praise Big George received in the Spring has only compounded. Regardless if he becomes the starter, he WILL see plenty of snaps as a true freshman.
“Our receivers block very, very well. [Their] Effort’s great…”
Dorian Baker agrees.
“…The biggest deal with those guys is the ability to make plays.”
Dorian’s got you Coach Dawson.
Drew Barker describes Dorian Baker’s abilities perfectly, “They call him American Pharoah, because he’s so big and runs so good.”
– The backs will be running AND catching. With additional speed at running back, Shannon Dawson plans to use them frequently to help stretch the defense, “The more you get the balls on the edge, the wider the defense has to play,” Dawson said today. It opens up passing lanes for receivers in the middle of the field. Chad Scott has an exceptional group of route runners and, most importantly, he has trust in their hands.
– Jared Lorenzen was once again making headlines earlier this week, not just on KSR either. After the Jets’ Geno Smith had his jaw broken in a locker room fight, Jared asked the Jets on Twitter if they could use his services. He plead his case for the job through the Bleacher Report. If I were in the Jets’ front office, I wouldn’t hesitate to pull the trigger. I mean, what could go wrong?
– The Wildcat made a College Football Playoff Commercial. Some don’t have faith in the Cats, but ESPN surely does.
– Toughening up at inside linebacker. Josh Forrest led the team in tackles last year, despite constant critiquing from Mark Stoops and D.J. Eliot. Just like Ryan Flannigan, he was learning a new position, except the defense couldn’t afford to have Forrest miss any snaps, “That can be tough, because he was thrown to the fire, but it’s helped him tremendously this year,” D.J. Eliot said earlier this week. “He’s built off his good plays and he’s learned from his bad plays.”
Like Forrest, Flannigan has developed some consistency inside, earning the coaches’ trust. Their respective backups are still learning. Stoops and Eliot like the play from Spring enrollee Jordan Jones and redshirt freshman Nico Firios, but it’s hard to judge until you see them go head-to-head against SEC competition.