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  • Cats Lair Featuring 2019 Hot Topics


    The Kerry Blackshear Jr. saga is now over in that the fact that he chose the Florida Gator for his last college year. He first put his name in the transfer portal and participated in several workouts and the major Chicago combine. He then pulled his name out and started to make his grand tour much like the one when he first committed to Virginia Tech.

    Make no mistake about it John Calipari wanted him in blue and white but Blackshear for unspoken reasons felt he was a better fit for the Gators. Now the Wildcats are going to have to play against him twice a year. I’m sure Calipari relish’s the idea of playing against him.

    Now, I have a pet peeve perhaps that applies to the UK football so call faithful – what is it? I’m glad you asked. The spring is merely for entertainment because coaches are not going to show anything.

    But I maintain there’s much more to the game than often meets the laymen observer. It’s to see who has the athleticism to be a key player for the team and that’s what the coaches are looking for going into the fall.

    The rest is left up Coach Ed (Corey Edmond) – affectionately referred to when addressing the head strength coaches. Overall he and his staff sees more of the players than anyone on the football family.

    The football purist and or pundit gleans real players when he or she sees them on the football field.

    I just love the game of football to the point that I’ve gone to U of L’s spring games to study their talent. In the years between 2010 – 15 it was obvious they had more talent.

    One U of L fan and I went together a few times and after the 2003 game he commented they had a good team but had no quarterback. I said to him you didn’t see the same game I did. This was post Dave Ragone and Stephan Lafors was the heir apparent to replace Ragone. That kid had the ability to put pressure on the edge to run or throw the 15 or 20 yarder. Nuff said. He was a very quality starter and ran a 4.4 in the Indianapolis combine.

    Having said that these player that jump out at this purist and perhaps were unnoticed are as follows in the 2019 spring game. We know the Cats lost a lot on the defensive side of the
    football but Mark Stoops said no one is looking at what they have coming back.

    Son of former secondary star Maurice (Mo) Douglass Moses Douglass 6-foot-2, 200-pounds show himself to be a big hitter from his safety position. As we know safeties are merely glorified linebackers than can cover as well as come up and hit.

    Redshirt freshman center Quinton Wilson showed himself to be a more than adequate backup to Drake Jackson. He more than held his own against the like of UK’s quality nose-tackles.

    Since we are speaking of nose-tackles, let’s speak about the progress of Abule Abadi-Fitzgerald that came to UK as a raw prospect that had to learn the college game and toughen up. Defensive line coach Derrick LeBlance said he brought Fitzgerald inside from defensive end to Nose-tackle to toughen him up.

    LeBlance said he responded well. This was obvious to this purist in the spring game because he was very active in there.

    Throughout spring practice most of the secondary talk was on new arrival junior college transfer Brandin Echols. However in the spring game newcomer junior college transfer Quandre Mosely showed out well, also. Because of need a welcome sight. The inexperienced corners will have the fall practice and the first two games to tighten up their game. There will be no lack of instruction. the secondary is Mark Stoops' - Dean Hood - and secondary coach Steve Clinkscale.

    Early enrollee freshman OLB Jared Casey showed he is going to be an early contributor to Brad White’s defense. Its likely White views the former Oregon commit as very welcome.

    An outside burner Akeem Hayes at the wide-out showed he has the ability to take the top off for the offense.

    Every good team has a walk-on player that will at some point show out and that player for the Wildcats is sophomore Somerset, Kentucky product defensive end 6-foot-4, 290-pound Collin Hartman. If you want to know who the real players are, just ask the players.

    I want to reiterate a workable cliché. “Hard work outworks talent when talent don’t work hard.” This is the culture that’s been established at the Joe Craft football center.

    I again say the people whose opinion to respect are the people at the television network’s because they better know what they are seeing on the football. Don’t hype out over the pre-season magazines.

    Again here’s a respectable list because most of them played the game – Cole Cubelic; Marcus Spears; Chris Doering; Andre Ware; Anthony “Booger” McFarland; Hall of Famer Matt Stinchcomb; Greg McElroy; Gene Chizik; and Tom Hart.
    My last word is for the spring game viewers is to eliminate that the thought there is nothing to see.
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