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Stoops talks redshirts after another good Wednesday practice

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Head coach Mark Stoops



Offensive coordinator Neal Brown



Mark Stoops spoke to reporters on Wednesday for the final time before Kentucky's Saturday trip to Georgia. Once again, the Wildcats delivered the kind of effort he expects.

"Moving forward with the week," Stoops said. "Got some good work in today, and I thought our energy was good, thought the guys were practicing hard and doing as best we can. So, moving forward, looking forward to getting on with the preparation for Georgia."

Playing an important role in that preparation, both this week and all season, has been UK's scout team. Each week, the Wildcat backups are tasked with simulating the upcoming opponent's scheme while also working to improve.

Included in that group is a handful of players redshirting this season who might not be seeing the field, but that certainly doesn't mean they are putting in less work. In fact, they are in the weight room much more often with an eye on contributing next season and beyond.

"They do more than our travel team," Stoops said. "The guys that are redshirting and not playing are lifting much heavier and of course, when we're traveling and things like that, they get in some extra lifts over the weekend. So they are gaining some weight and getting some strength."

Freshman defensive lineman Regie Meant is foremost among those weight-gainers, as he now comes in at around 290 pounds according to his coach. Meant, at times, has been a menace on the scout team, drawing the praise of the offensive coordinator who calls plays against him.

"Regie Meant, he's gonna be a big factor," Neal Brown said. "I don't want to speak for D.J. or Mark, but he's gonna be a major factor in what they're doing."

Stoops also mentioned defensive lineman Jacob Hyde as a player who has improved his physique and flexibility and he was the first player Jalen Whitlow named when asked about the scout team. Amusingly, Whitlow compared the Manchester, Ky., native to the cartoon character Binky, a bulldog from the children's television show and book series.

"He is an animal out there sometimes," Whitlow said.

UK's crop of redshirting offensive linemen has been impressive as well, particularly Ramsey Meyers and Kyle Meadows. In fact, when asked which redshirt players could contend for immediate starting roles, Stoops named both.

"Ramsey's a guy that jumps out, Ramsey Meyers, right away," Stoops said. "He's got good size to him. I want to say he's in the 330 range right now. And again, he plays very hard. He's nasty and athletic. He's a guy that can help us inside definitely. Kyle Meadows. I like Kyle and all those guys, really."

Watching their development, Brown believes both Meyers and Meadows would provide needed depth right now. Even so, he knows redshirting both was the right decision.

"I just believe from a wear-and-tear point up front, I think the right thing is to redshirt those guys," Brown said. "They're gonna be so much better as redshirt freshmen. They have a chance to have four great years, where this year it would have been up and down."

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