Eye-Opening Moments from Open Kentucky Football Practice

Eye-Opening Moments from Open Kentucky Football Practice

Nick Roush3 months


Article written by:Nick RoushNick Roush


2021 UK Football Spring Practice.Photo by Elliott Hess | UK Athletics
<small>Elliott Hess | UK Athletics</small>
[caption id="attachment_348455" align="alignnone" width="2560"] Elliott Hess | UK Athletics[/caption] The Kentucky football team is opening its doors to the fans and media for a Saturday morning practice at Kroger Field. Our first chance to watch the quarterbacks throw in Liam Coen's new offense, KSR will be providing updates throughout the morning from UK Fan Day. Keep checking back for updates of the best moments at Kroger Field.
ROUSH (11:04) -- We are unable to watch from the field this year. You have to be an NFL scout to earn those privileges. The L.A. Chargers' powder blue is well represented by a few folks.
LUCKETT (11:11) -- Not many programs in college football have three better-looking tackles than Kentucky. Darian Kinnard, Jerermy Flax, and Dare Rosenthal each look the part. Size, length, mass, and athleticism. Eric Wolford has an embarrassment of riches in his first season on staff.
LUCKETT (11:27) -- Defense running through a turnover pursuit drill and Marquan McCall does not appear to be with the group. Octavious Oxendine running with the ones at boundary tackle. Kentucky lining up in a 4-2-5/3-3-5 base. Davonte Robinson at nickel. Josaih Hayes at nose while Justin Rogers works with the twos.
ROUSH (11:32) — The QBs are working on their footwork out of play-action sets. Kind of nice to see Kentucky passers bootlegging from under center. Gatewood and Levis are definitely the top two options, each putting some mustard on the ball rather effortlessly while rolling out.
LUCKETT (11:54) — We've entered the 11-on-11 period of the open practice and redshirt freshman running back JuTahn McClain got some snaps in the slot. We could see a lot of 21 personnel -- two running backs, one tight end -- from Liam Coen's offense this fall.
ROUSH (12:06) -- A few quick-hitting notes from the 7-on-7 portion of practice.

--  Wan’Dale makes everyone better. He's really good at slipping between defenders in a zone.  — Dingle made a nice catch on a wheel route 30 yards downfield.  — Tae Tae Crumes loves the out routes. He had two nice pieces of  toe drag swag from Beau Allen. — Gatewood is solid on intermediate routes, particularly crossers. This appears to be his strength.

ROUSH (12:09) -- We just finished a water break. Some weren't as quick to return to the action as others. Stoops wasn't having it. "Get your asses up off the bench!" Love it. Football is back.
ROUSH (12:13) -- Now for the quick-hitters from UK's 11-on-11 period. -- Joey Gatewood took the first snaps at QB with Brenden Bates on the field in 12 personnel. This will likely be Kentucky's base offensive package. -- The most beautiful play of the day featured RB JuTahn McClain split out at wide receiver. The jet-sweep motion, combined with a fake handoff froze the defense. Following the play-action Joey Gatewood hit an open Josh Ali on a crossing route. It was a beautiful, long-developing pass play we aren't used to seeing. -- The following play featured a much quicker play-action. Gatewood got it out of his hands quickly for an easy pitch-and-catch to Wan'Dale Robinson. -- It's fun to see tempo out of a huddle. It's just something I'm not used to seeing from the Cats.   -- Abule Abadi-Fitzgerald is getting a lot of love. He's moving well. Should get a lot of reps as the 3-technique defensive tackle.  -- One play-action roll-out with Levis appeared to be a broken play after a receiver slipped in his route. Levis remained patient, then delivered a soft pass across his body that McClain caught inches above the ground. It was an excellent recovery. McClain is going to play a big role on this offense.
LUCKETT (12:22) -- It's only his second practice at the position, but Izayah Cummings just looks the part at tight end. Brings value that the offense just doesn't have at the position. The Louisville (Ky.) Male product is going to help the offense this season and allow Liam Coen to get creative with formation.
PILGRIM (12:35) — Stoops has his best playmakers at punt return. The group is headlined by Wan’Dale Robinson, with Josh Ali, Mike Drennen and Dekel Crowdus rounding out the unit. Going to get some highlights out of that unit.
ROUSH (12:43) -- We just saw the two best highlights of the day during an 11-on-11 passing period. https://twitter.com/smosswkyt/status/1424081988856782855?s=20 https://twitter.com/RoushKSR/status/1424047751629877248?s=20
ROUSH (12:46) -- A few more noteworthy moments from the passing 11-on-11 period.

-- Chauncey Magwood made a nice tip-catch on a poor screen pass from Levis. -- Tae Tae Crumes is a big fan of the comeback routes. -- Jordan Lovett made a great play on one ball but can’t hold onto the pick near the sideline. 

ROUSH (12:50) -- Sadly, we've reached a point where every long pass is noteworthy. Despite the circumstances, it's always fun to see someone complete a bomb. Levis connected on another one, this time in a live 11-on-11 period. He let one rip to Rahsaan Lewis, Ray Lewis' son, who twisted his body and created some separation to reel in a difficult reception that was just shy of 50 yards downfield.
ROUSH (12:55) -- DeMarcus Harris deserves a shout out. He's been one of the most impressive pass-catchers during the final 11-on-11 period. He's made at least three contested catches in the intermediate passing game. The second consecutive catch was a nice snatch about 25 yards from the line of scrimmage in-between the hashmarks.
ROUSH (1:00) -- Practice concludes with Beau Allen letting two balls fly down the football field with the threes. Rahsaan Lewis was on the receiving end, again, before Dekel Crowdus leapt for a 40+ yard reception that ended the open practice. Now, time to go into the podcasting lab to rehash everything we saw over the last 48 hours. Don't miss it.

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