Yesterday Kentucky held their last open practice before th..."/>
Yesterday Kentucky held their last open practice before th..."/>

Kentucky Football Spring Scrimmage Notes


By Kyle

Yesterday Kentucky held their last open practice before the Blue/White Spring Game. I know this sounds a little crazy, but some of the best performance where from redshirt freshmen that have never taken a snap in a college game. Here are my notes from the scrimmage:

  • The Defense is really going to miss the talent and leadership of Peters, Lindley, Johnson, and Maxwell. There were several turnovers forced, but you can tell they’ve got a long way to go. While the youngsters stepping in do have some talent, they’re will probably be a drop-off over the next season. From my seat, I can’t see anyone stepping up and taking charge of the unit save for possibly Huzzie. It is concerning that a redshirt freshman might be the best leader of the defense.
  • Despite losing Lindley, Harrison, and Cobb, the defensive backs look more athletic and are better ball-hawkers than we saw last year. These guys can get to the ball and have receiver-quality hands. They will have to work on staying with their man though, because there were several missed assignments that led to wide open receivers.
  • Anthony Mosley seemed a lot more confident today than in previous practices. He might play his way into the defensive back rotation.
  • As I mentioned in my position breakdown, Winston Guy has a major problem with trying to deliver the big blow instead of wrapping up and making a solid tackle. He had a missed tackle on Jonathan George that led to a huge touchdown run.
  • Dakotah Tyler looked really fast. He might be the fastest player on the team not named Derrick Locke.
  • I’ve said it before, but this is the fastest group of linebackers Kentucky has ever seen. You can see that they’re undersized and I lost them in the middle on run plays amongst all the linemen, but they really fly to the ball.
  • The defensive line has some work to do. Granted they were without Evans and Wyndham, but there was no semblance of a real pass rush and they were absolutely gashed on running plays.
  • Tristian Johnson played pretty well for Evans. He is going to be really good with some seasoning.
  • Everyone is talking about the competition at Quarterback, but at this scrimmage at least, there was no competition. Hartline is the best on the roster and it’s really not that close. He has a better grasp on what the offense is doing on each play and you can tell he’s going through his full progression. Everything offensively just runs smoother when he’s in. If one of the youngsters hopes to catch up, they better do something fast.
  • Mossakowski has a big arm, and he threw the tightest spiral with the most “zing” on it of the bunch. The only problem is it went to the other team. He has some work to do on his accuracy and reads, but he is going to be really good before his time at UK is over.
  • I don’t know how to explain it, but Newton doesn’t look like the same Parade All-American he was last year. I fully expected him to be further along at this point than he is, but he appears to be struggling with the simplest reads. He’s looking for the primary target, then if he’s not wide open, dumping it off to the Tight End or Running back without looking at his next options. He missed some open receivers because of accuracy too. For a guy who has confidence pouring out of his ears ff the field, he looks lost at times when playing. I really hope it clicks for him, because he is as physically talented as any QB to ever play for UK.
  • Talk about Quarterback foot speed needs to end. These guys are all about the same speed and no one is going to pose much of an option threat. Hartline might actually be the fastest of the bunch, at least in the pocket.
  • Didn’t see much from Derrick Locke today. He was doing well, but coaches pulled their money-maker out pretty early.
  • Donald Russell has got his work cut out for him if he hopes to remain the #2 running back. Freshman Jonathan George is a playmaker, and might be the most underrated player in the 2009 recruiting class. He busted some big runs and finished with 125 rushing yards or so. He is going to make it tough for the incoming freshmen to see the field. Russell looked good too though. This stable of running backs will be the most talented Kentucky has had in quite a while.
  • The fullbacks have a lot of work to do. There is going to be a colossal drop-off this year after losing John Conner, which I think everyone expected.
  • There should be a noticeable jump in production from the wide receivers this coming season. Cobb and Matthews looked like the starters they will be, but the other guys did well too. While Cobb is still the man, and probably the best overall player on the team, I couldn’t take my eyes off of Brian Adams and LaRod King. These two are huge guys and as athletic as the smaller players. It was impossible to think that these guys were playing QB at their high schools a year ago.
  • The group of Tight Ends appears to be a collection of different players who all do a couple things well, but without a player that can put it all together. Wallace, Kendrick and Melillo have some work to do. I didn’t see Aumiller, so I don’t know how well he did.
  • The offensive line absolutely out-classed the defensive line in the scrimmage. I don’t know if the d-line was just that bad, or if the o-line is that good, but either way the ground game was clicking. Warford and Hines are going to be a fantastic duo out there this year.
  • Burden looked good in his debut as a Left Tackle. He is by far more athletic than any player Kentucky has had in recent memory and equally as big. He looked unsure on some of the assignments, but made up for it with quick feet and an explosive first step.
  • I don’t know if I might be jumping the gun here, but from what I can tell, this might be the best group of offensive linemen Kentucky has fielded in years. It may not make sense, but I believe that this group will be better than the last three or four despite their lack of playing experience. Football fans that get excited over the Offensive Line should all be as geeked as I am.

So there you go. Enjoy these, because we’re locked out until the Blue/White game.

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