The wait is the hardest part. As Kentucky’s NFL prospects get closer and closer to the 2019 NFL Draft, the wait is becoming even more difficult.
“It’s tough on all of them because there’s so much indecision,” Mark Stoops said Tuesday morning. “They don’t know where they’re going to live. They don’t know where they’re going to be drafted. It’s obviously a difficult time for them in that respect. These guys, they get antsy. It’s hard in this day and age, they get so much information at their fingertips.”
Stoops’ advice to his antsy former players is simple.
“I just constantly tell them to lean on the things we taught them in their development and that’s to control what you can control. That’s how they handle themselves, how they train and what they’re doing. They’ve really done a good job with that,” he said.
Months of evaluation should provide players with more clarity, but that additional information can sometimes make things more confusing, especially for late round picks. One Wildcat is benefitting from the influx of information, cornerback Lonnie Johnson. Before Stoops spoke to the media, he was lobbying on the cornerback’s behalf.
“I just got a question from a general manager this morning. We were just on the phone talking. I just wanted to confirm the things he and I were already talking about. Hopefully he’ll get that opportunity to go in the first round, I think he will,” Stoops said.
A cornerback at the collegiate level for only three years, Stoops believes Johnson’s potential will carry him into the first round.
“He’s handled his business everyday that he’s been here,” Stoops said. “He’s got great upside because he’s still learning the game.”
Lonnie may not have to wait long to hear his name called. On the other hand, some of his teammates may still be on the edge of their seats until late Saturday afternoon. Even though it will take them longer to receive their payout, Stoops is confident that regardless of circumstance, they will find a way to achieve their NFL goals.
“Just like recruiting, you’re gonna see those guys who are late draft picks or free agents that are going to make teams, in my opinion, because they’re very good players and they’re trained to be successful.”