Aug. 22, 2010
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Fresh off its second scrimmage of the season Saturday, the University of Kentucky football team held a shortened practice Sunday afternoon clad in shoulder pads, helmets and shorts.
After practice, first-year head coach Joker Phillips talked about multiple items, including how impressed the coaching staff is with freshman tight end Tyler Robinson.
“The guy that keeps showing up (at tight end) is Tyler Robinson,” Phillips said. “With (Nick) Melillo going down, he is the one guy that is taking advantage of the reps. He is continuing to get better and is a guy that we have already put on all the special teams for him to help us in that area. If you watched the film from yesterday, he got some huge blocks for us as far as taking care of the edge and made a big play down the field.”
Phillips also talked about the battle at middle linebacker between redshirt freshman Qua Huzzie and junior Ronnie Sneed. Huzzie fell victim to the injury bug last season, causing him to redshirt, and has been battling a blister on his foot that has caused him to miss several practices in fall camp.
“I think that (Ronnie) Sneed has separated himself a little bit with Qua (Huzzie) being injured,” Phillips said. “Qua was back today but will be back tomorrow full speed and we have to get him caught up. He has to help us on special teams for sure and also be ready to go in and play some middle backer for us.”
Sneed, a native of Tallahassee, Fla., played in 11 games last season with 14 tackles, one tackle-for-loss and one pass breakup. The 6-foot-2, 231-pound linebacker was voted UK’s Most Valuable Defensive Scout Team Player by the UK coaching staff his freshman season.
On the offensive side of the ball, Phillips said that he has still not made any decision at quarterback, saying that the staff will look at the film from Saturday’s scrimmage again.
“We are going to have to go back and look at (the scrimmage video) again,” Phillips said. “We have to make the right decision for our program and the three kids involved too. We will look at it and then try to come up with a decision on this thing.
“I can’t see everything when I am sitting in the back (at the scrimmage). I try to watch demeanor, body language, command of the huddle and they all three have that. Then you want to see production. I will go back and watch it and try to figure out who the guy is.”
Phillips also raved after practice about the offensive line and the development under new offensive line coach Mike Summers. Phillips said the questions about UK moving backward at the offensive line position have been answered.
“I really like the way that they practice and how tough, nasty and aggressive they have been,” Phillips said. “The offensive line has to be a team within the team and that is what they are becoming. Coach Summers is building a team within a team and those guys have to have some pride in their performances and they are. They are playing well.”
Kentucky will continue to practice Monday and Tuesday before taking Wednesday off for the first day of class.