By LARRY VAUGHT
New Kentucky linebackers coach Jon Sumrall was a fierce competitor when he played for the Wildcats. The Alabama native was so intense that I recently told him I felt a little sorry for the current UK players he was coaching because of the passion and drive he had as a player and would expect from them.
“The big thing in selection (recruitment of players) is you have to identify does this kid love football,” Sumrall said. “A kid is not going to be highly successful unless he does love football more times than not unless he is uber talented.
“You try to create an environment that is contagious … high energy and fun every day and is detailed. You set high expectations and standards but at end of day guys have got to know you care about them for more than just football, too.”
Sumrall says he has a “good group” after going through spring practice after he left Ole Miss to join Mark Stoops’ staff. No surprise he has bonded well with one player — Kash Daniel — in particular.
“Kash is guy that everybody recognizes and resonates with,” Sumrall said.
So are they soulmates?
“He is a lot better player than me,” Sumrall laughed and said. “I was kind of a runt. Kash is a guy that is fun to be around. I have really enjoyed having the opportunity to coach him. He’s a guy that loves football like me, so we get along great.”