Solid Gains in Weight Room

Aug. 8, 2009

LEXINGTON , Ky. – The 2009 Kentucky football team will be stronger and faster than the 2008 squad, according to the bench press, power clean and 40-yard dash numbers posted in the team's summer strength and conditioning program.

For the bench press, 52.4 percent of the team can lift at least 325 pounds, compared to 42.3 percent at this time a year ago. Players who can bench press at least 350 pounds has increased to 25.7 percent of the team, up from 24.7 percent in 2008.

In the power clean lift, 34.3 percent of the team can heft at least 300 pounds, an increase from 27.4 percent in 2008.

There also have been significant improvements in the 40-yard dash times – 28.9 percent of the squad covers the 40 in less than 4.63 seconds, an improvement from 23.6 percent last year. The Wildcats also have faster big men; 78.9 percent of the team runs the 40 in 5.12 seconds or less, compared to 72.2 percent in 2008.

“One of the reasons it's occurring is that we keep bringing in more SEC-ready players,” Brooks said. “The depth is better, so you don't have the lower half of the team dragging down the numbers of the upper half. The depth is clearly better than it's been from a strength and speed standpoint. It's clear that people that see us look a little different than we used to.”

Marc Hill is UK's director of strength and conditioning, assisted by Chad Hutsko, Ryan DeVriendt and Jordan Hicks.

Second Day of Practice, Evans Sidelined with Hamstring Strain: Dressed in helmets, jerseys and shorts, the Kentucky football team had its second day of preseason practice with a split-squad workout on Saturday.

“Today was a really good learning day,” Coach Rich Brooks said. “Some guys looked a little better than they did yesterday, some guys not as good as yesterday. It's always a process. It's going to be easier to make judgments when we get shoulder pads on (Sunday) and you have some (upper-body) contact, even if it's not full contact.”

Brooks announced that DeQuin Evans, the junior-college transfer at defensive end, has been sidelined over the past week with a strained hamstring. Brooks said that it would be Monday or Tuesday, at the earliest, before Evans could begin practice.

The Wildcats have their annual Fan Day on Saturday night before resuming split-squad practices on Sunday and Monday. Practice with full pads begins Tuesday.

Lindley on Thorpe Watch List: Senior cornerback Trevard Lindley has been named to the preseason watch list for the Jim Thorpe Award, which goes to the nation's top defensive back.

A total of 31 players are on the watch list for the honor, which is administered by the Jim Thorpe Association of Oklahoma City.

It's no surprise for Lindley (Hiram, Ga.) to be on the watch list, as he was a semifinalist for the honor a year ago. He totaled four interceptions and 11 pass breakups in 2008, leading the Southeastern Conference in passes defended per game. He was a consensus first-team All-SEC pick and a second-team All-America choice by two selectors.

Lindley's outstanding play has been equaled by his consistency. He has started all 39 games over the last three seasons, helping lead the Wildcats to three consecutive winning seasons and bowl championships. He has nine career interceptions and already owns the UK career record for pass breakups with 34.

Big plays also have been a hallmark of his career. Six of his nine interceptions have been key plays in UK victories and a seventh pick helped send a game into overtime. He has two touchdowns as a collegian, an interception return and fumble return for scores.

Wildcats Receiving Votes in Top 25: Kentucky received nine votes in the USA Today/ Coaches' preseason top-25 college football poll. UK is listed 17 th among teams also receiving votes, the equivalent of 42nd overall.

Fan Day Set for August 8: The annual Kentucky Football Fan Day is set 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.