Future UK Quarterback Drew Barker will be writing a diary for KSR throughout his senior season to give fans a behind-the-scenes look at what's going on in recruiting and the changes in the UK football program. Check out his earlier entries:
Laying a Foundation
Keeping the momentum going
Recapping The Elite 11/The Opening
The New Kentucky Football
Hey guys, how's it going? I just started my high school season with a scrimmage against Beechwood this past weekend. I think I did pretty good (17/22 for 178 yards and one touchdown passing, 15 carries for 236 yards and two touchdowns rushing), I probably could have had more yards, but it was a running clock. I wasn't really sure what to expect from our team because we lost most of our line from last year and a big playmaker in Cameron Fogle, who's now a walk-on at UK, but I was really happy with our performance. Our offensive and defensive lines really dominated the game, we had some other guys step up and we got the win, so that's really good. We have another scrimmage coming up this Friday against St. Bernard out of Ohio, and then our first real game will be August 31st at Thomas Moore College at 1:00, so I'm really looking forward to that too.
A lot of you guys might be surprised that I had so many yards on the ground, but in each of the past two seasons, I had over 1,400 yards rushing. Because of the Elite 11 and all the other passing camps I've been to, most people really underestimate that part of my game, but I can tuck it down and run too. Beechwood was playing three down lineman and dropping eight guys into coverage, so when I see that many guys in coverage protecting the pass, I might as well tuck it down and run it for 15 yards. That way, I can keep the defense honest and make them play 11-on-11 football. If they want to play back, then I'll run it; if they want to play up, then I'll throw it. Obviously, once I get to college, the speed is completely different, so I won't be running nearly as much, but I am a threat to tuck it down and get a first down with my feet too.
When I haven't been on the field, I've been following the Cats in their fall camp, too. I went down for Fan Day on the 9th, and it was really fun.
It kinda stunk that it rained for the practice, but it was really cool to be there, especially since TV Williams came too. It was fun to hang out with him and his family, and also to interact with the coaches again, sit in on the quarterback meetings, talk with the players and watch a practice live. It's neat to see how the coaches were coaching up close and get a little preview of what the season will be like.
I felt like the guys are a lot more confidence since Coach Stoops came on board. Confidence breeds confidence, and that's really good because you have to have that "swagger" to play against the best players and teams in the SEC. I also noticed how fast they were practicing as opposed to the past.
I have some friends on the team that told me how different it was, and even though they heard it would be fast, they didn't realize it would be this fast! I'm definitely looking forward to playing in that offense.
All of the commits are taking our official visits to UK on the same day as Matt Elam.
Coach Stoops told us he doesn't want us to take our officials during the season because you're not able to hang out with the coaches as much because they're so busy preparing for games. He told us it was better to take them during the off-season, when we can just hang out, go to a basketball game, chill and build better relationships. So, we'll all be there with Matt that day, which goes back to the family atmosphere at UK right now. I always tell him that I don't think he could go anywhere else--Alabama, Notre Dame, Ohio State, wherever--and have that bond that he does with our class. He's really connected to a lot of the guys, and I think that bond and trustworthiness is really important in his decision. If he comes to UK, he knows he'll be automatically welcome, which might not the case at some of the other schools.
So, I'll be at UK that weekend and then I'm going to San Antonio for the Army All-American game with Matt on January 4th (we'll even be on the same team). We get back on January 5th, and then I move into UK on January 11th before classes start on the 13th. Time is flying!
Enrolling early was a big decision. High school was fun, I'm going to miss all of my friends, but why not go down to UK, start learning the offense, and get in the program instead of sitting in high school messing around for a few extra months. The way I see it, you might as well start working toward the goal you're striving for. My main motivation is to get there early and play in the spring practice and the spring game. I'm really looking forward to it, and hopefully I can end my high school career with a state championship before I head to UK. And yes, I can still go to my prom and graduation.
I was actually planning to go to Nashville for the Western game, but since my first game is that afternoon, we're going to have a party at my house to watch it instead. I'm planning at being at every single home game this season
, and I'm really looking forward to it. I know they're preparing really hard and had their first scrimmage this Saturday. I heard the offense started out good, but the defense ended up winning, but I'm just really looking forward to watching Coach Brown's offense and seeing the improvements the new staff has made in the players from last year.
You guys probably remember how I teased that there was a "Yahtzee" brewing on Twitter a few weeks ago. It's still in the making, I promise. My man Blake Bone tweeted yesterday that he was making his decision in a couple of weeks, and I feel pretty good about our chances.
I'm not 100% sure he'll commit, but I think he'd be a great fit in the Air Raid offense. We need big outside receivers, and he's 6'5", can run and has great hands. He's a really cool guy too, I got to hang out with him in person earlier this summer when he and a bunch of the commits came down for the Saturday Night Prime Time Camp. He's kind of got a bond with all the guys already, and hopefully he makes a good decision and comes on board to the Big Blue Nation.
We're still going after Braxton Berrios, who is planning on taking his official for the Louisville game. I still feel pretty good about him. We just need to get him on campus, because then, anything can happen. He already stayed a weekend one time and really like it, so it's good that he's coming back.
Right now, I'm just ready to get back on the field. There's nothing better than football season. You've got four straight days of football--Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday. I know my coaches and parents probably don't like hearing this, but I like to go out there and get hit! I kind of can't wait until the real games start and I know we have a good shot of making the state championship, where we could maybe play Matt [Elam]'s team.
Conner and John Hardin are both 5A and will be on opposite sides of the bracket, so if that happened, we'd have a pretty big crowd of Kentucky fans.
Also, if you didn't catch the Elite 11 show last night, it will be replaying all week. Having Coach Dilfer tell me I was in the Elite 11 fraternity was definitely the greatest honor of my career so far.
Talk to you guys soon!