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Kentucky Football Notebook

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March 29, 2002

Junior college wide receiver Chris Bernard, who enrolled at UK in January, made a good impression during his first two days of spring practice, showing good speed and making some acrobatic catches.

"Everything is new to him right now (in terms of learning the offense) but you can see he has good hands," said receivers coach Harold Jackson, who also noted that Bernard has the speed to go deep and the reliability of a possession receiver. "Chris has shown to us that he will work hard and do what he needs to do to improve. He's going to be on the field for us this fall."

Bernard came to UK from Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, Calif., where he earned second-team junior college All-America honors. During his sophomore season in 2001, he caught 61 passes for 957 yards and eight touchdowns.

When it came time to pick a new school, Bernard received a lot of attention from schools in the West. Kentucky was the only team east of the Mississippi to recruit him, and Bernard became intrigued with the UK coaching staff.

"Coach Jackson is such a high-profile coach because of what he did in the NFL and Coach (Guy) Morriss also has a lot of NFL experience. It was obvious that the 'smarts' were there on the coaching staff," Bernard said. "And, the offenses at Saddleback and UK are similar.

"The biggest adjustment has been getting used to the balls thrown by (quarterbacks) Jared (Lorenzen) and Shane (Boyd). We had an All-America quarterback at Saddleback, but he was more of a finesse passer. I have blood blisters on my hands now (from catching the passes of Lorenzen and Boyd)."

Bernard and the Wildcats return to practice on Friday at 2:20 p.m. for the third of 15 practices allowed during spring football. The team also will practice Saturday at 10 a.m.

 

 

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