By LARRY VAUGHT
At Kentucky’s Media Day I got a chance to talk again with freshman quarterback Nik Scalzo of Florida.
He tore his ACL in November but was cleared to resume full practice in a remarkably short amount of time due to his diligent workouts in rehab. Still, he was wise enough to know he had returning starter Terry Wilson and transfer Sawyer Smith both ahead of him on the depth chart and also had redshirt sophomore Walker Wood and freshman Amani Gilmore in the quarterback room with him.
He wasn’t ready to say he would be redshirted, but he knew it was a possibility — especially since doctors and trainers wanted him to wear a titanium brace this month to help protect the knee.
“That is fine (being redshirted) with me if it happens. I just want to do whatever I can to help the team win,” Scalzo said. “Honestly I love that competition we have. I have always loved competition since I was in Pee Wee football.
“I remember my fourth or fifth grade I had four quarterbacks in front of me my first time there and I went up and won the spot. That’s just part of me that loves competition. If there is competition, I am going to go for it.”
He’s almost certain to redshirt now after coach Mark Stoops announced Saturday that Scalzo injured his knee in Saturday’s scrimmage. The UK head coach likely will give an update Tuesday.
Scalzo was so happy at Media Day that he was able to go through preseason workouts and compete for playing time.
“It feels amazing. Just to see how far I have come in such a short period of time is obviously incredible,” Scalzo said then. “I was determined to get here. I have been dreaming of this day since I was a little kid and was not going to let the injury make me give this day up.”
Not only that, he was doing back flips back in Florida before he reported to Kentucky in June.
“Before my surgery I loved flipping. My sister is a gymnast. I like to say I taught my sister everything she knows but she would probably say it is the other way around. My goal was to hit a back flip before I came here and I did it, so I was incredibly happy with that,” Scalzo said at Media Day.
He’s liked being in Lexington, too.
“At first it was a little hard to get used to managing all your time but I love it here and has become my second home,” Scalzo said. “I am a momma’s boy. I love my dad, too, but I miss my momma and miss my dog back at home but every day it is getting better.”
Or at least it was until he got hurt again Saturday.