Kentucky offer motivates Boyle County’s Jackson Smith, the No. 1 kicker in the 2022 class

Boyle County junior Jackson Smith has spent a lot of time working on his own, including kicking at Centre College. (Andy Smith Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

It was not the way that the University of Kentucky football coaching staff wanted to offer Boyle County sophomore kicker Jackson Smith a scholarship, but it was the only way it could be done now.

Special teams coach Louie Matsakis called Andy Smith, Jackson’s father, on Tuesday and asked if the player could call him (NCAA rules prohibit college coaches from calling sophomores directly (Smith is a rising junior).

Sean Sutton on “Eddie” documentary: “There was some really good, bad and ugly. That was my dad. That was my life.””

Eddie Sutton (Oklahoma State Athletics)

By KEITH TAYLOR, Kentucky Today

LEXINGTON — Eddie Sutton’s short tenure at Kentucky was rocked by a recruiting scandal that brought the state’s flagship university to its knees.

The Wildcats eventually recovered from the disaster and Sutton also found success after resigning as coach of the Wildcats following the 1988-89 season.

Those ups and downs followed Sutton at Oklahoma State and his ability to overcome adversity was well-documented in “Eddie,” which aired Monday night on ESPN.

The two-hour presentation displayed the good, the bad, and everything in-between as Sutton endured a roller-coaster ride of success and struggles during his life on and off the court.

Darian Kinnard had amazing year in 2019 — 1 penalty in 706 snaps

Darian Kinnard (No. 70) should be one of the SEC’s best linemen this season. (UK Athletics Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky junior Darian Kinnard has gone from being perhaps the Southeastern Conference’s most under appreciated lineman last year to being ranked as the third best returning offensive tackle in the SEC by analyst Cole Cubelic going into this season.

The 6-5, 345-pound Kinnard started all 13 games at right tackle last year when UK went 8-5. His play helped Lynn Bowden become a dominant runner after he moved from receiver to quarterback.

Tennessee delaying start of football, soccer seasons cannot be good

Grant Bingham of Johnson Central should be one of the state’s top offensive linemen this season.  (Johnson Central Football Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

While Kentucky high school sports hope to be gearing up for fall sports, the same hope in Tennessee took a major, major hit today.

Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association executive director Bernard Childress sent the following memo to member schools Tuesday and also posted it on the athletic association website at https://tssaa.org also an emergency order from the governor was extended until Aug. 29.

Standout Alabama receiver Christian Lewis newest UK commit

Christian Lewis

By LARRY VAUGHT

Having to basically abandon the passing game last year certainly has not hurt Kentucky when it comes to recruiting receivers in the 2021 class.

Alabama standout Christian Lewis became the fourth receiver in the 2021 class to verbally commit to UK when he made his decision Tuesday. The 6-3, 185-pound Lewis is a three-star prospect with a four-star resume. He had over 30 scholarship offers and picked UK over Notre Dame, Tennessee, Texas A&M and Louisville. He also had offers from schools such as South Carolina, Mississippi, Oregon, Nebraska, UCLA and Vanderbilt.

Mitch Barnhart says return to sports activity still “pretty fluid” situation

Mitch Barnhart (Vicky Graff Photo)

By KEITH TAYLOR, Kentucky Today

Kentucky athletics director Mitch Barnhart Barnhart said approximately 100 to 120 student-athletes have made their way back to campus and the school has focused on a return to activity during the past few weeks.

“We continue to adjust our protocol as we watch the situations,” Barnhart said. “It’s pretty fluid.”

Barnhart was glad to hear Gov. Andy Beshear give the approval for fans in the stands for the Kentucky Derby and said that’s a positive sign for college and other athletic programs in the state.

Mitch Barnhart says new cheer coach Ryan O’Connor knows “how to represent” UK

Jeff Houchin Photo

By KEITH TAYLOR, Kentucky Today

LEXINGTON — Mitch Barnhart is confident the Game Day experience will “very, very special” when sports return to campus in the future.

“We look forward to the day that we get our fans back in our venues and we look forward to the day that we get our fans back in our venues,” Barnhart said Monday. “With that comes our cheerleading program and having an opportunity to engage with our crowd, create enthusiasm, and do those things that are most important.”

Terry Wilson had recent scare that convinced his mother his knee really is fine again

Quarterback Terry Wilson’s knee must be better because recently he had to sprint to outrun a loose dog coming at him.  (Jeff Houchin Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Just in case you had been wondering how Kentucky quarterback Terry Wilson was progressing from the knee injury suffered in game two of the 2019 season that ended his year, the senior has left little doubt about it on social media.

“Y’all wait and see what happens when I touch that field again. Trust me,” Wilson posted on Twitter.

Roger Harden didn’t get to shoot often at UK, but when he did he could hit shots

Roger Harden, left (UK Athletics Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

During his four years at Kentucky point guard Roger Harden played in 122 games, which is still tied for 37th most at UK even though Harden graduated 34 years ago.

But ponder this. In those 122 games, he took only 466 shots. That’s just over four shots PER GAME even though he averaged over 20 minutes per game during his four-year career.

Of his 466 shots, 2018 came in the 1985-86 season when Eddie Sutton took over as coach after Joe Hall resigned. In 86 games under Hall, Harden put up only 258 shots.

Healthy Terry Wilson will give UK different dimension

Terry Wilson (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Quarterback Terry Wilson led UK to a 10-3 record in 2018 when he threw for over 1,500 yards and 11 scores and rushed for 547 yards before getting hurt in the second game of last season. He was the first UK player ever with 1,500 passing yards and 500 yards rushing in the same season.

He expects to be at full strength when UK opens the season and center Drake Jackson says Wilson’s speed gives the offense a different dimension.