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Running backs, tight ends could become main part of UK passing game

Justin Rigg, center, is the tight end Eddie Gran hopes can set the tone for the younger players behind him. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

During our Sunday morning show on WLAP (630 AM), former UK running back Anthony White — one of UK’s best ever when it comes to running and catching the ball — and I discussed the possibility that UK running backs could be a big factor in the passing game this year for the first time since Mark Stoops has been head coach at Kentucky.

Offensive coordinator Eddie Gran says there is “no doubt” the backs will be much more involved. White believes so, too

“We did that this spring. Our guys caught more balls this spring than they ever have,” Gran said. “That’s really understanding the whole package for them in terms of blitz pickup, knowing when you can get out.

“There should be times when we’re in six-man protection, but they get out so fast because they understand what’s going on defensively. It’s easy when it’s no-back, they’ve got free release. When you watch those NFL running backs, they get it out because they understand body language, they understand rotation. They’re looking to the same thing the quarterbacks are looking at.

“I expect our guys to catch some more balls, and Terry (Wilson) being able to understand where those tight ends on those check downs, where those running backs are.”

White said after UK lost quarterback Tim Couch and receivers like Craig Yeast, the Cats went a different route the next year with tight end James Whalen along with running back Derek Homer and White becoming the top receivers.

“I could see this year’s UK team doing the same thing with the tight ends and backs,” White said.

1 comment

  1. Good, throw the rock!

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