Mark Stoops had gotten reports all summer that his team was getting faster and stronger through a High Performance training regimen. He had heard about all the work the Wildcats had done in 7-on-7 drills.
On Monday, Stoops finally got to see the results of a productive summer firsthand.
Following a busy day of interviews and photo sessions, Kentucky took the field for its first practice of fall camp on Monday afternoon and looked like a different team from the one that was on the field when Stoops last coached them.
"They're more explosive," Stoops said. "They're in better shape. It's nice to have more depth. We're a better football team than we left spring, that's for sure. So I'm encouraged. I thought we did some really good things. We look a lot better."
Stoops was also pleased with the organization and efficiency of the practice, even as UK operated differently in some drills than in the spring due to the depth added by the arrival of the 2013 signing class. But even more importantly, Stoops likes the way his players are responding to coaching.
"The biggest thing is they've had a great attitude the past two days, so that's been evident," Stoops said. "And that's the biggest thing. If we can be consistent with that attitude, then we'll have a chance to get better and improve this football team."
UK stayed healthy through the first day of fall camp, though sophomore running back Dyshawn Mobley and freshman defensive lineman Regie Meant sat out due to preexisting injuries. Mobley underwent surgery on a hernia in July and is expected to return around Aug. 15. Meant was held out to receive treatment on an infected cut on his hand.
The Cats will return to practice on Tuesday afternoon, working once again without pads.