Even though Kentucky returns most of its starters this year, including quarterback Terry Wilson, the national media still believes the Cats will backslide from last year’s 8-5 finish. CBS Sports has Kentucky only winning six games, while ESPN went slightly more optimistic with seven. In what has become the norm, the Cats are using that disrespect as fuel.
“This happens every year,” Junior defensive end Josh Paschal told reporters on a Zoom call this afternoon. “They always say we’ll win five games, finish close to last in the [SEC] East. But every single year that they do that, it just adds fire to the tank and it just gives me chills because I’m ready to play football and just ready to prove people wrong. This whole team, we’re a brotherhood and I just feel like this year’s going to be something special. I know that it’s something that writers can’t predict and things of that sort, but I feel like we’re in for a great season, a great show and I just can’t wait for it to start.”
Of course, when that special season will get underway is still uncertain. The NCAA is reportedly planning for the season to begin on time. So is Paschal, but he and his teammates are ready for any curve ball the virus throws their way.
“Personally I just feel as if, right now, I have the mindset as if the season is going to start on time and things like that. Whatever happens, if it doesn’t start on time, we’re just going to have to adapt to it. It’s going to be a thing like, just what happened in the spring. We were prepared for scrimmages and things of that sort but they threw a curve ball at us and we adapted. We went home and we had to work out there and things of that sort. As of right now, my mindset is that we’re preparing for the season to start on time and if there’s a curve ball that’s thrown at us again, we’ll be ready for it.”
Paschal is among the 40 or so players currently on campus for Phase 1 of voluntary workouts. While UK is taking every precaution to make sure the players are safe from the coronavirus, he said the energy around the facility is contagious.
“Right now, everybody’s just appreciating being back and just appreciating going to workouts and pulling up to the facility, getting out. We’re appreciating warm-ups, being dead from workouts and things of that sort. Being sore is such a good feeling now and being able to realize we’re getting better each and every day and that we’re progressing.”
Check out the rest of the interview with Paschal on our YouTube page.