Larry Vaught

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Four Cats earn preason All-SEC honors

By UK ATHLETICS

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Four University of Kentucky football players earned a spot on the 2019 Preseason Media Days All-Southeastern Conference teams, it was announced Friday by the league office. Junior center Drake Jackson and senior offensive guard Logan Stenberg were named third-team offense, while senior linebacker Kash Daniel was named second-team defense and junior athlete Lynn Bowden Jr. earned a spot as a third-team specialist.
 
Jackson, a native of Versailles, Kentucky, started at center in all 13 games last season, giving him 20 consecutive starts. He was responsible for only one-half quarterback sack, had 141 blocks at the point of attack, and had 33 knockdown blocks. He was a significant contributor in helping running back Benny Snell Jr. become UK’s all-time leading rusher.

Mark Stoops, Lynn Bowden not talking about Gators

Kentucky fans enjoyed UK’s win over Florida last year. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky ended a 31-year losing streak to Florida with a win at Gainesville last year. So what happened at SEC Media Days on Thursday — Kentucky coach Mark Stoops got reminded that UK had not beat Florida in consecutive seasons since 1976-77.

“Oh, come on now,” Stoops joked.

So what would it be like to start a winning streak against the Gators?

Stoops responded by talking about playing with two-time major champion John Daly in the Barbasol Championship Pro-Am Wednesday in Nicholasville and how much fun that was.

Transfer quarterback Sawyer Smith has shown Mark Stoops he can deliver under pressure

Sawyer Smith

By LARRY VAUGHT

Quarterback Sawyer Smith threw for 320 yards and four touchdowns last season when Troy beat Buffalo 42-32 in the Dollar General Bowl to cap off a season where he started seven games, completed 63 percent of his passes and threw for 1,669 yards and 14 scores and ran for 191 yards and another score.

But after coach Neal Brown left for West Virginia, Smith put his name into the transfer portal and wound up at Kentucky. He’s expected to back up Terry Wilson, who won 10 games last year, but he has over 600 collegiate snaps — a huge plus for the UK offense.

David Toms playing in Barbasol to avoid 4-week break, but daughter wanted to see scene of LSU’s Bluegrass Miracle win

Sonya Toms with her daughter, Anna, at the Barbasol Championship. (Larry Vaught Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

David Toms, a 13-time PGA Tour champion, now competes on the PGA Champions Tour.

Toms, 52 decided to come to Jessamine County this week, though, to play in the Barbasol Championship rather than have a four-week break mainly due to his decision not to play in the British Senior Open.

“We really couldn’t plan anything as a family during the four weeks I would have had off. My son had a tournament this week and I was close by. Only a4 1/2 hour drive away in Akron, so it made sense just to come here,” Toms said after shooting a 4-under par 68 in the first round.

Lynn Bowden Jr. Named to Biletnikoff Award Watch List

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky wide receiver Lynn Bowden Jr. has been named to the 2019 preseason Biletnikoff Award Watch List, it was announced on Thursday by the Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation. The award annually is given to college football’s most outstanding receiver at any position.

Bowden, from Youngstown, Ohio, is coming off a sensational 2018 season that saw him break the school record for most receptions (67) by a sophomore in school history, surpassing Derek Abney’s 66 from 2001. He led the Wildcats in catches, receiving yards (745) and touchdown receptions (five) and hauled in the most catches in a season since current NFL star Randall Cobb caught 84 passes in 2010

Barbasol fans love John Daly but he loved hanging out at Old Bridge with Eddie and John Michael Montgomery

John Daly, right, spent time at Old Bridge Golf Club with Eddie and John Michael Montgomery Tuesday night. Anna Cladakis, center, said it was a fun night for everyone. (Larry Vaught Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

John Daly’s up and down round included birdies, a triple bogey and a few short missed putts, but most fans at the Barbasol Championship at Keene Trace Golf in Jessamine County didn’t care.

They followed him despite the hot, humid weather and cheered loudly when he finished his 1-under par round of 71 that he’ll have to dramatically improve Friday if he hopes to make the 36-hole cut at the PGA Tour event.

Go Big Blue 4 Miler set for Aug. 17

Maybe Kentucky can get Shannon Spake to participate in the Big Blue 4 Miler. (Ironman Photo)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Go Big Blue 4 Miler, presented by Kroger Simple Truth, is back. The popular run/walk beginning and ending at Kroger Field will move to the evening for the first time, taking place Saturday, Aug. 17 at 7:30 p.m.

Mark Stoops on Logan Stenberg: “He’s a nasty player.”

Alabama native Logan Stenberg had his brothers visit him at SEC Media Days. (UK Athletics Photo)

Q. Coach, I wanted to ask you about a couple of Alabama natives on your roster. Talk about the development you’ve seen of his career of Logan Stenberg. I know he’s a big part of your offensive line. And as far as a young player, I know Benny Snell meant so much to your program, but Kavosiey Smoke from Wetumpka, Alabama, I wanted to know about your thoughts on his future.

Mark Stoops “all for” Terry Wilson wearing No. 22 in opening game to honor Jared Lorenzen

Jared Lorenzen (UK Athletics Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

During his time at the SEC Media Days today in Hoover, Ala., Kentucky coach Mark Stoops was asked about the July 3rd passing of former UK quarterback Jared Lorenzen at age 38.

“That was a tough loss for all of us. Jared was a remarkable man. I didn’t know him as well personally. I knew him. Of course, he was around the program some,” Stoops said.

“But he was beloved throughout our community, the Big Blue Nation. He was a person and father, and that was a big loss to us.”

Penn State transfer quarterback Tommy Stevens will make Mississippi State better

By LARRY VAUGHT

Quarterback Tommy Stevens contemplated transferring from Penn State to Kentucky as a graduate transfer after the Cats beat Penn State in last year’s Citrus Bowl. However, from what I was told, he was looking for a starting guarantee and no way could coach Mark Stoops do that with Terry Wilson returning after leading UK to 10 wins last season.

Eventually Stevens decided to transfer to Mississippi State, a team UK plays on the road this year, and apparently he will be the starting quarterback for the Bulldogs.