Recently, I asked for you to tweet questions or topics for me to write about. Below are your questions with a response:
@BrickHggh wanted me to discuss uniforms.
Response: I’m the wrong demographic for my uniform opinion to matter. However being a non-traditional power and the northern most SEC school, UK Football needs to be unique in style of play, playing surface, and uniform design. In the eyes of 16-18 year old recruits, the flashier the better.
@draderukfan asked, “How does the team continue to grow as they can’t do football activities with coaches?”
Response: Good question. Over the summer, the Strength and Conditioning Staff is charged with managing, training, and developing players. When pre-season camp starts, the team is then turned over to the actual football coaches. On the field activities are mostly player planned, led, and executed. Due to current NCAA regulations, assistant football coaches have limited off-season player contact. My humble opinion is for the NCAA to scrap the traditional spring practice and summer off-season standard by instituting a year-around, NFL OTA model or “organized team activities”. These periodic instructional sessions would enhance player safety and lead to a better football product. Football is a year around process. Times have changed, rules need to accompany.
@carterkessler wanted to know how the Cats get 4 SEC East wins.
Response: First, look at the home schedule that includes Missouri, Florida, and Tennessee. That trio is less daunting than before but still are extremely challenging opponents. The Cats will have to win two out of the three at home, beat Vanderbilt on the road, and pick off either South Carolina or Georgia. Of the SEC East opponents, I would categorize only Georgia, Tennessee, and maybe Auburn as having notable talent superiority. I’ve said many times and will continue to do so, this 2015 team’s depth chart is too fluid at critical positions for me to confidently predict a season W/L record.
@LisaOff asked, “How to change culture in players’ minds?”
Response: Win. In addition to that, High Performance training sustainment, state of the art facilities, coaching, and efficient player development all factor into the equation. I’d have to also again throw uniforms/gear in because the old adage, “look good play good” is timeless. With increased university support through upgraded facilities and length of Stoops’ tenure, excuses are being eliminated. Based on prior experience, the elimination of excuses is how one could describe effective leadership. All that writing to simply say, win more than you lose.
@bigbluemist wants to know how Stoops has reached out to former players to be a part of the program.
Response: Can’t speak for others but I feel comfortable at the Nutter Center. Stoops and staff are engaging former players and seem sincere in understanding and recognizing the program’s history. The vast majority of has-beens only want to win and aren’t that concerned about reunions or such. I can say this, the K-Club or K-Men House is more crowded now than ever. More lettermen are returning to Lexington on game day and current has-been to has-been communication is at an all-time high. That’s an overall win for the university.
@Willy_teee “What can the BBN do to make Commonwealth a tougher place to play in?”
Response: The team and university have a role in this as well. Their responsibility is to play with passion and provide a quality game-day experience. I will say the university has done their part. Now, the winning needs to take place. As we witnessed in the 2012 embarrassment against Vanderbilt, an apathetic team leads to an uninterested and ticked off fan base. Like most stadiums, being loud while UK’s on defense hurts the visiting team’s ability to communicate. CWS has a tendency to have a late arriving crowd. That could improve as well but also dependent upon quality of play and stadium vibe.
@heathgib wanted my take on who will be team statistical leader in major categories.
- Passing: Patrick Towles
- Rushing: Boom Williams
- Receiving: Garret Johnson
- Tackles: Josh Forrest
- Sacks: No clue
- Interceptions: AJ Stamps
Sorry I couldn’t get to them all. I do appreciate the feedback, and we’ll do this again before the season starts. You can follow me at @FredMaggard.