UK linebacker has “Love” for coach Matt House

Matt House

Matt House

By LARRY VAUGHT

Matt House has plenty of coaching experience. He spent four years on NFL coaching staffs. In the collegiate ranks, he coached three years at Pittsburgh, including two as defensive coordinator/linebackers coach. Twice Pitt went to bowl games.

Last season he was the defensive coordinator at Florida International. Now he is on Mark Stoops’ staff at Kentucky and will be coaching linebackers.

Kentucky linebacker Courtney Love was recruited by House when he was at Pitt. He knows what to expect from UK’s new coach.

Barnhart pleased with Stoops’ recruiting, energy

Mitch Barnhart (Vicky Graff Photo)

Mitch Barnhart (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Two years ago when Kentucky got off to a blistering start, Kentucky athletics director Mitch Barnhart gave coach Mark Stoops a midseason contract extension. Yet he’s still waiting for Stoops to get Kentucky to a bowl game.

“Clearly we want to continue to recruit and be at a level of bringing people into our program that give us a chance to succeed. Mark has done that. He and the staff have recruited at a high level for us, some of the highest recruiting classes that we’ve ever had in the history of the program,” Barnhart said.

Bob Jones to join us on WLAP at 10:30 to talk UK football

Bob Jones and Denzil Ware

Bob Jones and Denzil Ware

By LARRY VAUGHT

Mark Stoops invited former Kentucky football players to Commonwealth Stadium to be not only part of Fan Day, but to tour the new training facility, eat with the team, meet with athletics director Mitch Barnhart and watch a closed practice.

One of those former players who attended was Bob Jones, a Kentucky native who now lives in Florida. Jones will join us on WLAP Sunday Morning Sports at 10:30 to share his insights.

First, Kentucky sophomore Denzil Ware went to high school where Jones was principal and Jones has been a mentor for him.

Former Wildcat Ricky Abren needs help from BBN

Ricky Abren and family

Ricky Abren and family

By LARRY VAUGHT

Remember former Kentucky defensive lineman Ricky Abren of Hopkinsville? Abren and Jacob Tamme were two players that then UK coach Guy Morriss did not have in his recruiting class that UK athletics director Mitch Barnhart asked Rich Brooks to call immediately when he was hired as UK’s new coach.

Now Abren needs help from BBN based on this GoFundMe post by his family:

D.J. Eliot on Stoops, sacks, Southern Miss, Jacob Hyde

Jacob Hyde

Jacob Hyde

Here is what Kentucky defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot had to say at Friday’s Media Day:

On feeling confidence in the defense …
“I feel more confident in our secondary. We have very skilled players and I think we have a lot of talent at the other positions. I think we have a chance to be good at the other positions, too. Training camp is going to determine how well we play and how well we develop.”

Stoops knows Daniel will be good, just not sure when

Kash Daniel (Alex Otte Photo)

Kash Daniel (Alex Otte Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Despite the building fan expectations for Kash Daniel, Kentucky coach Mark Stoops was careful again at Friday’s Media Day not too set the early bar too high for his freshman linebacker.

“It was nice he was here for the spring semester because he certainly improved. He’s worked really hard. Work is not a problem for that guy. He has a great work ethic, great attitude,” Stoops said. “He’s going to be a great asset to this team.

Mark Stoops: “What I fear? I fear nothing.”

Mark Stoops (Vicky Graff Photo)

Mark Stoops (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Sometimes it’s not easy to get Mark Stoops to talk in great depth about his football team. But WLEX-TV sports director Alan Cutler asked Stoops a question at Media Day Friday that prompted the coach to be a bit more specific than usual.

Cutler asked him: “What are you most excited about and what is your biggest fear, not including injuries?”

Stoops said he was most excited about the overall team and moving into the new training facility.

Boom Williams says he is 100 percent healthy

Boom Williams

Boom Williams

By LARRY VAUGHT

Boom Williams says he is 100 percent healthy and that’s good news for the Kentucky offense.

Williams, a junior running back, injured his elbow against Louisville in UK’s final game last year and missed most of spring practice. He could not have contact but did participate in some drills and watched film.

“It should be very fun to go out there and do the things with my teammates. I just want to go out there and practice and get back in rhythm,” Williams, who rushed for 855 yards and six scores in 10 games last year, said Friday at UK’s Media Day.

Barnhart on what is and is not ‘Twitter-able’

Kentucky athletics director MItch Barnhart opened today’s Football Media Day and addressed a variety of subjects, including social media where he came up with his own word — Twitter-able.

Q. I want to get your thoughts on social media. Seems like the NCAA keeps relaxing its restrictions on the usage of social media. I know a lot of UK coaches are on Twitter. What are your thoughts on coaches and administrators, essentially your employees, using social media not only to reach out to potential recruits but just engaging with fans in general?
MITCH BARNHART: Well, two things. It depends on which parts of social media you’re talking about from the NCAA. Text messaging in recruiting… There’s a couple aspects to social media. One is how you reach young people, how they want to communicate with you, okay?

C.J. Conrad doesn’t mind complicated role

C.J. Conrad (Vicky Graff Photo)

C.J. Conrad (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Sophomore tight end C.J. Conrad knows that the more versatile his role becomes, the more complicated it also becomes.

“I am all over the place and used in a lot of different ways in this offense,” Conrad said. “We don’t have to sub out, which is nice. I just move myself around but that makes it take a little longer to learn. I have been in my playbook a lot.”

New offensive coordinator Eddie Gran often uses three tight ends together on the field. That led to a lot of spring practice reps that helped Conrad.