Sounds, views, and news from today's open practice at Fan Day
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Sounds, views, and news from today's open practice at Fan Day

Jack Pilgrimover 4 years


Article written by:Jack PilgrimJack Pilgrim
The Kentucky football team held their annual Fan Day this morning, and the cast of thousands in attendance were treated to a full-contact open practice. The birds were chirping, the sun was shining, and the pads were smacking. What more could you ask for? Here's everything you need to know if you couldn't make it:


In 11-on-11s, Stephen Johnson looked unbelievably sharp. The touch on his deep ball was excellent, hitting guys in stride with relative ease. Most importantly, he and CJ Conrad connected on several occasions after a year of misses last season. He also had a few impressive QB keepers and misdirections to keep the defense on their toes. In 7-on-7's, Johnson absolutely torched the defense. He looked confident, made comfortable throws without forcing anything, and put the ball on a string. In just two drives, Johnson had touchdowns to Snell, Conrad, and Baker, among countless other beautiful throws. He looks to have taken a major step up from last year. Stephen Johnson earned first team reps, but Drew Barker came in right behind and performed well. On his best throw of the day, Barker hit Kayaune Ross on an NFL-esque throw in the corner of the end zone over a defender. He also had one beautiful toss to Charles Walker over the hands of Jordan Griffin. (On another note, it's crazy to see Walker's progression from walk-on to major contributor.) As far as other QBs go, Gunnar Hoak looked decent, but had some misfires he'd like to take back. Deep in the redzone he overshot the crossing receiver a few times, and just flat-out missed on some easy throws. His reads were still strong and efficient, and the timing was there. Danny Clark didn't take many snaps, but had a couple impressive throws to CJ Conrad, in particular. Barker looked good, but Johnson looked the part of QB1 today. Regardless, this looks to be the deepest QB unit we've seen in quite some time.

Running game:

Benny Snell continued to do Benny Snell things. The sophomore back hit the holes today like a freight train, making several defenders miss throughout the day. He was the subject of a few trick plays that he executed to perfection. Snell looks to have gotten a bit quicker with similar power in his game, which should make upcoming opponents terrified. We're going to see something special (again) out of him this year. Oh, and he can still rap. AJ Rose also looked great, both out of regular formations and out of the wildcat. He also caught a few impresses out of the backfield, causing some "oohs" and "ahhs" out of the audience. He and Snell will be a fantastic one-two punch this year. Siheim King made some impressive plays out of the wildcat, as well. He looks to step in and complement Snell and Rose as UK's speed back.

Receivers/Tight Ends:

CJ Conrad played out of his mind today, making grabs from all four quarterbacks on the depth chart. He looks a lot more comfortable in his route running, and the plays are coming easier to him as a result. Be prepared for a big season from the junior tight end. Kayaune Ross and Dorian Baker also turned a lot of heads with their play today, two players with the opportunity for big seasons. There was one strike from Johnson to Baker that could've scored on anybody in the country. Charles Walker looks to continue his Heisman run, as well. Made some very big grabs, one of the most consistent players on the team. He's always in the right place at the right time.


After yet another impressive day, Mark Stoops said after practice that freshman DT Quinton Bohanna would likely end up in the two-deep rotation. Another true freshman standout was four-star DE Josh Paschal. Teammates have raved about him since he arrived on campus, but seeing him up close and personal is a whole new story. This kid is a hoss, and will absolutely develop into a stud. Kordell Looney, Lonnie Johnson, and Jamin Davis made plays today, as well. Matt Elam did not participate in live-action sets, only position drills.

Other notes:

JaVonte Richardson looked more like a tight end than a receiver. Kid is going to be a stud, but at what position? Lynn Bowden participated in his second practice with the Wildcats without pads today. He worked on punt return and several receiver position drills, but no action during the scrimmages. Derrick Baity is wearing a boot on his foot and did not participate today. Austin MacGinnis is still money. Punt returner group now includes Garrett Johnson, Benny Snell, Charles Walker, David Bouvier, Lynn Bowden, Mike Edwards, and Siheim King.

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