Takeaways from Kentucky Football Spring Training


Mark Stoops spring training updates

Mark Stoops opened the doors to the Joe Craft Football Training Facility to members of the media Saturday afternoon. KSR was fully involved in the operation. Even though it was only about half of the practice, Nick Roush and Adam Luckett still learned a thing or two about this Kentucky football team.

Brock Vandagriff looks like an SEC quarterback

Roush: Quarterback is the most important position on the football field and we know very little about the next one taking snaps for the Wildcats. The guy who was a five-star talent in high school is built like an SEC starter. Every bit of 6'3 behind the Big Blue Wall, Brock Vandagriff looks confident and confident in the bag. Vandagriff has a compact throwing motion and hardly waits to get the ball out of his hands.

In the shortened training sessions that we were able to see, he got the ball to his targets on time. Fred Farrier wasn't his first option on a play, but the hook underneath was placed in a spot where only the wide receiver could catch the pass. He wasn't overzealous. That's a positive in the long run, but let's be honest, I wanted to see how far he could throw the football. We should get a nice litmus test of how well he can throw bombs across the field in open practice next Saturday.

Jalen Farmer is ready to earn the starting guard spot

Luckett: Kentucky entered the transfer portal again in the offseason to address its offensive line. Florida transfer Jalen Farmer transferred to Lexington after two seasons in Gainesville. The former three-star recruit from Covington (Ga.) Eastside looks good.

Farmer was spotted doing reps with them and starting vice versa during spring training Hunter Burton. New offensive coach Eric Wolford is looking for more physicality at the point of attack and Farmer could be a player to provide that.

The SEC transfer appears to be one of the favorites to open the season as the starter on offense when the regular season begins.

Kentucky tight ends are getting multiple looks

Roush: I'm not here to tell you that Kentucky is going to throw the ball more to the tight ends. I would like to tell you that I was surprised to see so many different players in different positions. Dingle, Anderson, Kattus, they all rolled in and out regularly, lining up in the slot and at the split end, in either a two-point or three-point position. The Cats like the depth and versatility they have at the position.

“We feel very confident in this group and we feel like there is a lot of potential in this group,” Stoops said Saturday afternoon.

Jantzen Dunn plays the role of Andru Phillips

Luckett: Former Kentucky defensive lineman in a few weeks Andru Phillips should hear his name called on day two of the NFL Draft. Just a year ago, Phillips started the season as a two-position starter for Kentucky.

Phillips has moved on, but Jantzen Dunn has filled his shoes.

The former Ohio State transfer is Kentucky's starting outside cornerback Maxwell Harriston in the base and slides inside to slot cornerback into nickel. The CB2 battle is still ongoing, but it's clear that Dunn will play a big role as a sophomore at Kentucky.

The spring exercise is to break through walls

Roush: Spring football is all about development and fundamentals. You've heard it many times, but what does it look like? For the defensive line, it means hitting a wall.

Breaking a wall is not a metaphor. Anwar Stewart lined up his unit in front of a blue concrete block wall and instructed his group to engage in physical activity and “toughen their hands” by banging on the wall. If you think it sounds silly, how different is a concrete wall from an SEC offensive lineman?

While there's a practical purpose that has questionable payoff, it's the perfect metaphor for spring training. These guys are banging their bodies against a brick wall to get better without an opponent on the horizon. It's an uphill battle that culminates with next Saturday's open practice at Kroger Field.

Chip Trayanum looks good

Luckett: Kentucky did not have full contact at practice on Saturday. This means that the defense doesn't go down in team phases. In this case, it can be difficult to tell what value tailbacks bring to the offense. Demie Sumo Karngbaye, Jason PattersonAnd Jamarion Wilcox but flashed every Saturday Chip Trayanum was the one that stood out the most.

The Ohio State transfer is clearly the tallest player at the position and his physical size stands out in both individual and team situations. Trayanum was first in most practices and that shows he is currently Kentucky's No. 1 prospect.

The RB1 battle is also underway, but there's no denying that Trayanum looks good coming out of it and will play a big role for Kentucky this year.

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