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“We’re on a business trip.” Drake Jackson explains UK’s mentality ahead of the bowl game.

Kentucky will have its full roster for the upcoming TaxSlayer Gator Bowl—no new opt-outs, no leaving teammates behind to prepare for the draft or pursue other opportunities.

Kelvin Joseph is still gone from his departure prior to the end of the regular season, and reserve cornerback MJ Devonshire transferred to Pitt, but of the guys who contributed and were still on the roster when the regular season ended, they’re all back for one more run.

Senior center Drake Jackson is among the group of players who could’ve passed on more football to protect his NFL future, but he is eager to wear his University of Kentucky checkerboards one last time.

“After the South Carolina win, we were all excited, we were happy, I was happy, but I didn’t want that to be the last game,” said Jackson after Tuesday’s practice. “Look, bowl games are fun, it’s a little vacation, there’s no doubt about that. But we’re on a business trip. Getting a bowl win is such a great feeling that I think everybody wants to get that one more time.”

Asked how Kentucky managed to keep its roster together when other programs saw postseason opt-outs, Jackson pointed to the 2018 Citrus Bowl when two of UK’s all-time greats suited up when they were projected high on NFL draft boards.

“You look back at the Citrus Bowl and that was kind of when that movement was starting, and you look at guys like Josh Allen and Benny Snell and quite a few others on that team, and nobody opted out,” Jackson explained. “I think that set the tone, at least for a lot of the older guys that are here right now, that our standard is we want to play in that bowl game and we want to treat every game like it’s a big deal, because it is.

“Of course guys are trying to do what’s best for them, but there is so much pride that a lot of us have, to try to play one more game for Kentucky and get that win.”

Also from Tuesday evening’s discussion with UK’s All-SEC center, Jackson talked about lining up against NC State’s Alim McNeill, an All-American defensive tackle in that unorthodox 3-3-5 defense. Hear Jackson explain what he expects from the Wolfpack and more in the video below.

He’s great, healed up and his body feels like its at the beginning of a new season following the time off. Have a listen…

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

5 Comments for “We’re on a business trip.” Drake Jackson explains UK’s mentality ahead of the bowl game.

  1. millertim
    3:35 pm December 30, 2020 Permalink

    Spoken like a true UK athlete who puts TEAM before self… what a brillant example of what it means to play for the team and the school that you represent. Of course, Drake is a Kentucky native and grew up loving the CATS and his dedication, devotion and excellence is what makes him and his teammates LOVED by Big Blue Nation. Thanks so much to all the players on the UK football team who devote so much of their time and efforts to building a TEAM that UK fans can be proud of!!! You play in the toughest league in the nation, bar none, and a 4-6 record on an SEC only schedule is like 8-2 elsewhere!! GO BIG BLUE!!

  2. Section233
    4:09 pm December 30, 2020 Permalink

    Go Big Blue! I feel like this football program is definitely going in the right direction.

  3. zoupman
    7:29 pm December 30, 2020 Permalink

    Love the guys for playing. Joseph was never a team player anyway. Everyone else is a go.

  4. east-ky-boy
    12:27 am December 31, 2020 Permalink

    If I was a NFL team, what Joseph did would effect my view of him. He literally gave up on his teammates.

    • danielscott52
      7:49 pm December 31, 2020 Permalink

      He did what countless other players do. If you had a chance to get drafted you do what’s best for you. You’ve never been in his situation so you can’t judge