So much attention is focused on the quarterback competition, but Kentucky’s offensive coaches said on Monday that the battle for center is one that will be key.
“One and 1A; it’s up there,” offensive coordinator Neal Brown said of the import of the position, which he called the quarterback of the offensive line.
“We do try to alleviate some pressure off our quarterbacks with the center, as far as cadence, calling protection, those types of things,” Brown said. “All the guys we’re rotating there have a good understanding of those. Now they can get better; they have a good understanding.”
The battle has come down to sophomore Zach West and red-shirt freshman Zach Myers, offensive line coach John Schlarman said. Max Godby, last year’s backup to three-year starter Matt Smith, is rotating mostly with the No. 2 offense.
“We’re just seeing how it progresses and hoping one of those guys will take the reins and be the guy,” Schlarman said, noting that he’d like to have a decision by the end of the week.
If West wins the center spot, junior Teven Eatmon-Nared will move to West’s left guard spot, where he started every game last season. Eatmon-Nared played in eight games last season at guard and on special teams.
West said last week he has no preference on where he’ll play this season.
“I want to play and whether it’s at center or guard, it doesn’t matter to me,” said West, who missed most of spring having his right labrum surgically repaired. “As long as I’m playing, it doesn’t matter.”
Red-shirt freshman Jon Toth, who was competing for the starting center spot in the spring, will be in the rotation at the left tackle spot.