Football cats get big contributions from young players – UK Athletics


The Kentucky football team relied on their experienced players to lead the team this season. The Cats 5-2 were paced by quarterback Will Levis, running back Chris Rodriguez Jr., linebacker DeAndre Square and other experienced players who came through the rigors of Southeastern Conference play at the course of their career.

But it’s not just the upperclassmen contributing big for the Cats in 2022. In fact, a number of rookies have been big contributors for Kentucky this year. Offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello gave an update on how young this team is after practice Wednesday.

“If you really look at that era, if you took out Will and you took out C-Rod, we’re very young. Very young. On the O line, tight ends, receivers, so they’re only going to get better There’s depth and I believe these guys are ready when they get the chance. We find ways to keep them involved and I appreciate that.

Among the players Scangarello has been pleased with are playmakers within his unit.

“Dane (Key) is one of those guys who puts it on the line every week,” Scangarello said. “Barion (Brown) has courage. (Josh) Kattus played very well in this game. It’s a pest, I’ve said it before, and it was a pest to them (Mississippi State). »

The British defense usually plays a group of more experienced personnel. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a young playmaker on this side of the ball. Defensive co-ordinator Brad White named a few guys who are contributing early in their UK careers – Kobi Albert and Deone Walker.

“Deone is a small house,” White said. “He gives you the ability to (play with a down lineman). Often you don’t see such big guys in this place. You see smaller bodies moving around, but he’s so athletic for a guy that he can put himself in those situations. He can play.”

As for Albert, White has seen him improve and already realize some of his potential.

“Kobi has so much athleticism,” White said. “He has a fast twitch. It can close a lot of ground. He will come down and he will hit you. So he has all the tools. Knowing what to do is the biggest step. And that’s going to be the biggest stepping stone for him, to figure it out. But when he does, he will become a very good player.

With the Cats having a Saturday off, it’s a week where some of the younger players can get extra reps that they don’t always get during game week. Scangarello noted how important these representatives can be for young people.

“These weeks are good,” Scangarello said. “We had practice today and we were able to focus on the fundamentals and work with some of the younger guys and they did a good job. It was a very good practice on both sides of the ball.

Despite plenty of experience on both sides of the ball, a number of talented young players have made their mark for the Cats this season. They expect to do so for the rest of the season as well.

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