Brooks Encouraged to this Point of Spring

April 22, 2009

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Following the Kentucky football team's workout on Wednesday morning, Coach Rich Brooks indicated that he is encouraged by what he's seen to this point of spring practice.

“I think the players have had a very good spring so far,” Brooks said. “I hope we finish it the way we've practiced every day. I can't remember a really bad practice this spring. Almost every other spring, we've had at least one and sometimes two (bad practices). I'm very encouraged by the attitude of this football team.”

Additional notes and quotes from Wednesday:

  • Brooks on the Kentucky defense this spring: “I think they're more comfortable. Some of the younger guys that played last year that were a little uncertain aren't as uncertain. There's still some youth on that side of the ball that needs to be game tested, but the experience that is returning is helping everyone as a unit.”
  • On Wednesday's practice: “Last day in full gear until Saturday. We'll go in shorts (on Friday). We finished with a little contact at the end (of today's practice) and I thought the defense was very aggressive, tackled well.”
  • On sophomore safety Matt Lentz: “A guy that I probably haven't mentioned that I thought did some good things, and has been having a good spring, is Matt Lentz at safety. He appears to be a lot more comfortable at that position than he was a year ago, very aggressive, doing a good job playing the ball.”

Spring Game to be Played with Two Separate Teams: Coach Rich Brooks announced that Saturday's Blue/White Game will be played with two separate teams, as it was last spring.

The coaching staff will be split on Thursday, then have a draft and announce teams. The only requirement in the draft is that the coaches will make consecutive choices at the same position in order to keep the teams balanced. For example, if the Blue team makes a choice at tight end, then the White team must make a choice at tight end. Then, if the White team picks a weakside linebacker, the Blue team must choose a weakside linebacker.

Brooks noted that wide receiver/quarterback Randall Cobb will be drafted as a wide receiver. Cobb will be allowed only occasional duty at QB in order to simulate the plan the coaches have for the 2009 season.

The coaches had remarkable success in drafting evenly matched teams a year ago. The White team scored the winning touchdown with 1:06 to play for a 23-22 victory.

More Spring Game Information: The Kentucky football team will complete spring practice with the Blue/White Game, presented by Verizon Wireless, on Saturday, April 25, at 1:30 p.m. at Commonwealth Stadium.

  • Admission and parking are free.
  • Stadium gates open at noon.
  • The game will be broadcast on the Big Blue Sports Network, including WLAP (630 on the AM dial) in Lexington.
  • Concession stands and the Nike Team Shops will be open on the stadium concourse.
  • Verizon Wireless will have an interactive area on the west concourse of the stadium, inside Gates 6 and 7.
  • Kentucky's SEC Academic Honor Roll players will be introduced before the game. UK had 31 players on the 2008 SEC Honor Roll, the second-highest mark in school history.
  • There will be a special sale of surplus Wildcat apparel from various sports, see below.
  • Fans may renew their season tickets for 2009 at the game, see below.

Season Ticket Renewal Deadline is May 1; Tickets May be Renewed at Blue/White Game: The deadline for renewal of 2009 Kentucky football season tickets is Friday, May 1. Tickets may be renewed on the Internet at UKathletics.com, in person at the UK Athletics Ticket Office or by mail.

Fans also may bring their season-ticket renewals to the Blue/White Game. UK ticket-office personnel will be available to accept renewals from 12:30 to 2 p.m. at the ticket booth outside Gate 4 of the stadium.

Surplus Apparel/Equipment Sale at Blue/White Game: There will be a sale of surplus athletic apparel (various sports, items and sizes) on Saturday, April 25, from noon to 4 p.m. on the west concourse of Commonwealth Stadium.

There is also a sale of used athletic equipment – various weight machines, weight-training items and football practice gear – on Saturday, April 25. This sale will be by sealed bids only from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Nutter Field House, which will be open on the Alumni Drive side of the building. Football practice items will be sold in “lots” (quantities only). The items may be viewed Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with sealed bids due by 3 p.m. Instructions on how to bid will be available at the site.

Weather Report Encouraging for Spring Game: The final two days of spring practice are expected to have the warmest weather to date, with forecasted highs of 84 degrees on Friday and 84 degrees on Saturday.

Brooks to Throw out First Pitch on Wednesday: Coach Rich Brooks will throw the ceremonial first pitch before the Evansville at Kentucky baseball game, which is scheduled for Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

Spring Practice Calendar: Practices are open to media and fans. Practices are held at the Nutter Training Facility unless noted otherwise. Practices might be moved indoors to the Nutter Field House in case of bad weather.

Date Event Time Location
Fri. April 24 Practice 9 to 11:05 a.m. (tentative) Nutter Training Facility
Sat. April 25 Blue/White Spring Game 1:30 p.m. Commonwealth Stadium