By LARRY VAUGHT
New Kentucky receivers coach Michael Smith felt his players made progress during spring practice but knows they have a lot to do during the next few months before preseason practice starts in August.
“They have to get with each other, get with the quarterbacks and cultivate that relationship. They have to study football more,” Smith said. “I know they have a lot of stuff going on away from here (football) but at the end of the day if this is something you want to do as a professional, you have to find time to master your craft and these young men are trying to do that. I just want them to be the best players they can be and give them the tools to do that.”
Sophomore Isaiah Epps is one player Smith feels can be “special” if he continues to improved.
“He can run, he has great hips, he catches the ball well,” Smith said. “A lot of the intangibles to make you a great receiver from a physical standpoint, he has. I just want him to develop that mentality that he can’t be covered. It’s that way with them all. If we do that, then we have made big strides.”
Tavin Richardson is another potential big-play receiver, but he has to become more consistent.
“Not where I want him to be. I need more out of him. He will show up and make a play and you think, ‘Okay, this guy is ready to go.’ Then he will disappear,” Smith said. “That goes back to consistency and want-to. I need him. We all need him and he has to show up for us.”
Smith admits the plan is for sophomore Lynn Bowden to be the “go-to” receiver that every team needs to have to win.
“It’s my responsibility to get him to that point and he’s making progress. But I don’t want it to just be Lynn. I want it to be every guy I have that if a quarterback throws it to him, he will make that play for them. That’s how it is on the best teams. We need Lynn, but we can’t depend on him to make every big play for us,” Smith said.