Wildcats Kickoff Practice

Aug. 7, 2009

LEXINGTON , Ky. – The Kentucky football team began preseason practice Friday afternoon at the Nutter Training Center with a pair of split-squad workouts.

The two groups worked out for two hours and 20 minutes each, including a 40-minute overlap period. Clad in helmets, jerseys and shorts, the Wildcats began installing their offensive, defensive and special-teams systems.

“This is the fun part of the year, what I enjoy most,” Coach Rich Brooks said after practice. “I like to watch players move, see how they react. I look for athletic ability, focus, concentration and how they're handling things.

“We have to push through this and get ready for some real football (when the pads are put on Tuesday),” Brooks said.

Men's basketball coach John Calipari came by the opening workout, chatting briefly with Brooks while checking out the action.

“I can't wait for a home game and get to see 70,000 people in the stands,” Calipari said.

On Friday morning, the team had its annual Media Day. Coach Brooks held a 40-minute news conference, followed by a team photo and interviews of assistant coaches and players on the Commonwealth Stadium turf. Quotes from Brooks and selected players are featured on www.UKathletics.com.

The team will continue to practice in a split-squad format through Tuesday.

Fan Day Set for August 8: The annual Kentucky Football Fan Day has been slated for Saturday, Aug. 8, at Commonwealth Stadium. Gates open at 6:30 p.m., when posters and schedule cards will be given away.

The first 2,000 fans who bring a new school supply will receive a coupon for a free hot dog and Coke. All school supplies collected will be donated to children in need.

Coach Rich Brooks and the team will be introduced at 7:15 p.m., followed by an autograph session at 7:30 with the Wildcat coaches and players. An equipment stand will be set up and fans can try on UK helmets and shoulder pads. UK athletic trainers also will have a station, demonstrating ankle taping and other activities. The autograph session ends at 9 p.m., and the event concludes at dusk with a fireworks show.