Cat Scratches
Interactive Twitter Facebook

Recently in football Category

SigningDay.jpg As UK football welcomes a new class on Signing Day, fans will be able to follow along like never before.

Coverage on UKathletics.com will begin at 8 a.m. ET on Signing Day and continue late into the morning or early afternoon. The centerpiece of the coverage will be a webcast live from the Nutter Training Facility produced by UK Sports Video that will spotlight Mark Stoops' signing class currently rated No. 13 nationally by Rivals.com as National Letters of Intent arrive.

The live stream will feature exclusive access to UK's coaches, including a special "Xs and Os Room" with star UK quarterback Tim Couch. Couch -- the top pick in the 1999 NFL Draft -- will break down film of signees with their respective position coaches, showing why the newest Wildcats project to be the future stars of UK football.

Dick Gabriel, Tom Leach, Kentucky Sports Radio's Matt Jones and former UK quarterback Freddie Maggard will join Couch on the coverage. UK's seven mid-year enrollees - including highly rated quarterback Drew Barker - will be interviewed as part of the coverage as well. As soon as live coverage concludes, the webcast will be rebroadcast on UK's official YouTube channel.

In addition to the webcast, fans are invited to be a part of Signing Day. Not only will Cat Scratches host its annual live blog, the first place to learn when signees become official, but UKathletics.com will also provide a social-media experience that will integrate the best fan posts on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Fans are encouraged to post with the hash tag #UK2014Class. The best content will be featured both on a social-media mosaic and on the live webcast.

Fans will also be able to welcome signees on Twitter to the Big Blue Nation using the "Congratulate a Cat" feature. The signees generating the most buzz on Twitter will be compiled on a leaderboard called "Trending Cats."

Fans unable to follow online can listen to the Leach Report from 9-10 a.m. and Kentucky Sports Radio from 10 a.m.-noon. Both shows will be broadcasting live from the Nutter Training Facility.

It all begins bright and early on Wednesday morning.

Video: Tim Couch goes one on one with Drew Barker

| No TrackBacks | Add a Comment

Video: UK football's Super Bowl ad - 'Why Not?'

| No TrackBacks | Add a Comment

This commercial aired just after the end of the second quarter of the Super Bowl between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks on Sunday. It features a voice over by Mark Stoops and 17 Wildcats.

The theme: "Why Not?"

Here's the complete list of players who appeared:

Jeff Badet
Drew Barker
Javess Blue
Bud Dupree
Dorian Hendrix
Mikel Horton
Cory Johnson
Jojo Kemp
Ashely Lowery
Blake McClain
Marcus McWilson
Za'Darius Smith
Thaddeus Snodgrass
A.J. Stamps
Jordan Swindle
Jon Toth
Ryan Timmons
T.V. Williams
Nate Willis

More than two months ago, Mitch Barnhart stepped to the podium at the unveiling of plans for a $110-million renovation of Commonwealth Stadium.

He talked about the project would "change the personality" of UK football's long-time home, how the more intimate surroundings would positively affect fans and players alike. Barnhart was mindful that the day was a celebration of the hard work of many, but insistent at the same time how much work was ahead.

In no uncertain terms, he spelled out his goal to compete at the highest level in the Southeastern Conference under Mark Stoops.

"The transformation of Commonwealth Stadium is the first step in that process," Barnhart said of the stadium plans in November, "but it's not our last."

On Friday, the UK athletics director unveiled the next one.

Plans for a privately funded $45-million practice facility were approved by the Board of Trustees, setting into motion a process that will move UK's entire football operation.

"One-stop shop for all of our kids," Barnhart said. "So now they'll be able to academically do their work. They'll be able to train. They'll be able to get most of their food over there."

The two-story structure will be located at the east end of the Nutter Field House, with two practice fields and an adjoining drill area also a part of the project. When finished in 2016, administrative offices, locker spaces, team meeting areas, training areas, high performance and weight room spaces, equipment rooms, a hydrotherapy room, player locker rooms, lounge facilities, an academic lounge/study area, and an entrance lobby with enhanced visitor amenities will be housed there.

"All that gives us a better ability to take care and make sure we've got a really good understanding of what our kids are doing in all facets of their lives," Barnhart said.

The practice facility upgrades were in initial plans for Commonwealth renovations, but it was ultimately decided the projects would have to be separated. Now that the stadium renovation is in the beginning stages of construction, that fact is even cleared.

"There's no possible way you could've done both projects with one scope of money," Barnhart said. "You couldn't have done it."

Per university rules, no project of this size can brought to the board without at least half of the funding necessary to complete it secured. Barnhart didn't go into detail, but he did say UK is past that 50-percent threshold and "well on our way to getting the rest of it done."

There are still decisions to be made as the project moves forward, including exactly how the existing Nutter Field House will be affected and whether to change the playing surface in Commonwealth to turf.

"Our goal is to immediately get to design," Barnhart said. "We've got some pretty good thoughts about what we want to do. It's not without thought -- we've been doing this, thinking about what it would look like -- and we've seen other buildings, other places."

As football gets an upgrade, so too will other UK programs that will take advantage of open space in the Nutter Training Center.

"It's really important to keep that for our other sports," Barnhart said. "And then track and field and gymnastics will probably move into that facility in addition to some other things probably because that is closer to where they live."

Next on Barnhart's radar are facilities for the baseball and men's and women's tennis programs.

"The two things we have left to address -- really important -- is obviously our baseball stadium and our indoor tennis," Barnhart said. "Those are two that are hanging out that we have got to get fixed in order to have them be respectable in this league."

But at least for a little while, Barnhart wants to enjoy the accomplishment that is getting approval for the football practice facility. The news comes on the heels of the beginning of the Commonwealth project and just days before the best recruiting class in school history becomes official on Signing Day next week.

Combine all those things with the fact that alumni Jacob Tamme, Danny Trevathan and Wesley Woodyard are all set to play for the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl on Sunday and it's a special week  for UK football.

"I hope they have a championship ring," Barnhart said. "That's what they've worked their whole lives to get to is those kind of moments, and they're all deserving guys. They've been unbelievable representatives of this program. And so to have that, and with what's going on with Mark and his staff, and to have the facility up and running, it's a very exciting time for our program."

On Friday, the UK Board of Trustees approved UK Athletics' plans to build a $45 million practice facility adjoining to Nutter Field House. In the video below, Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart talked about the importance of the project and the excitement surrounding UK football under Mark Stoops.



Video: Signing Day promo - Who's Next

| No TrackBacks | Add a Comment

Signing Day is less than a week away. Stay tuned in the coming days for news on how fans will be able to follow along like never before.

Video: UK football spring workouts - Week one

| No TrackBacks | Add a Comment

Video: Signing Day 2014 promo

| No TrackBacks | Add a Comment

Video: Nutter Training Center weight room renovation

| No TrackBacks | 1 Comment

This offseason, the weight room at the Nutter Training Center underwent a dramatic facelift with a new floor, new equipment and new surface on the upstairs track. In this video, High Performance Coach Erik Korem walks about what the upgrades mean for UK football.

Recent Comments

  • Guy Ramsey: The song is "The Mighty Rio Grande" by the band This Will Destroy You. read more
  • Griffin: What's the name of the song that this video starts playing when describing Cal getting ejected and Aaron talking about read more
  • Quinn : It was an amazing run! I hope you all return and make another stab at it. read more
  • Sandy Spears: I completely with the person's comment above. So proud of all the young men and their accomplishments. They have everything read more
  • BJ Rassam: The Cats came so close to winning another NCAA basketball championship. read more
  • chattyone: Congratulations to our Wildcats! They are terrific. All of us just like these young men are disappointed in the loss, read more
  • clint bailes: Such a great season! You guys fought hard til the end. Loved watchin the season! Can't wait til next season. read more
  • Andrea Boyd: you guys are AMAZING! as individuals and as a team. thank you for your tremendous playing and work and attitudes. read more
  • laura n: What an honor and privledge to watch all of you grow into incredible young men. Never enjoyed a season more. read more
  • Amy Carnes: Very proud of you cats you have really grow as a team .You proved all the doubters wrong. And have read more