Dupree: NFL Combine numbers could’ve been better

As NFL Combine commentators drooled over Bud Dupree’s numbers a couple of weeks back, the former Kentucky standout thought a few of them could’ve been even better.

After the UK Pro Day on Thursday, the linebacker noted that his 40-yard dash time of 4.56 (tied for third in his position group) could have been faster because he previously had been timed at 4.4.

“I was mad about my 40, but it was electronic time, and electronic time different because they go for your hip, so that’s different,” Dupree noted.

As for his vertical jump, Dupree said he’d notched a 43 before and was hoping for more. “So it was kinda iffy,” he said of his 42, which was second for his position group.

His broad jump numbers at the combine made Dupree smile, though. He usually gets around an 11.2 or an 11.3.

“But my first one I jumped a 12’ and then stick it,” he said of his 11.6, which was tops for linebackers and third overall. “So when I did that, I was like, ‘Ah, man.’ Then I jumped whatever it was, so it was crazy.”

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Some roster additions, changes

The first spring practice roster was made available to the media on Wednesday. The uniform numbers for the early enrollees and two Nebraska transfers: No. 15 C.J. Conrad; No. 20 Kengera Daniel; No. 34 Jordan Jones; No. 51 Courtney Love; No. 64 George Asafo-Adjei; No. 85 Greg Hart

Also, a few players changed digits from last season, including wide receiver Garrett Johnson going from No. 19 to No. 9; defensive tackle Adrian Middleton going from No. 59 to No. 99, cornerback Kendall Randolph from No. 29 to No. 5 and defensive end Denzil Ware from No. 55 to No. 35.

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D.J. Eliot discusses spring practice

D.J. ELIOT
“We had good work today. First day in pads. Emphasis was on being physical, and for the most part we were able to do that. Played the run well today. You got some new guys in some new spots, so still making some assignment mistakes but nothing that we can’t get cleaned up by the end of spring. Emphasis on playing with intensity and playing with enthusiasm and running to the football, and for the most part been able to get that done for the first three practices. Very excited about this group and excited about finishing the work with these guys throughout the spring.”

On if he has any “Bud Duprees” out there: “Do not have any Bud Duprees out there. (Laughter). But, we do have some good players at his position that have been working hard and getting better every day, and I’m excited about that.”

On how Denzil Ware has looked so far: “Denzil Ware looks good. He’s a guy that’s playing Bud’s position. He’s an outside linebacker for us. We knew that he was going to be a very skilled and aggressive player. Decided to redshirt him last year, and it was very good for him because he was able to gain some size and some maturity. Getting in the groove of things for the first three days I’ve been pleased with his progress.”

On if he’s seen players stepping up to replace Dupree’s leadership: “We have. You know, the year before I was concerned with losing Avery (Williamson), and I think Bud did a good job of stepping up and taking over that role. This year I’m going to have to find somebody to take Bud’s role, and we’ve got some guys leading. Who or when? I don’t know yet, but we do have some guys that are certainly trying to lead by example and at times are leading vocally as well.”

On if any mid-year enrollees stand out as guys that can help in the fall if available: “I think that it’s too early to tell right now, but I’m very pleased with all of them. I think that it’s good that they’re here. Very good players at positions of need. I’m excited about all three of those guys, but it’s too early to tell which ones.”

On if the light has turned on for Ryan Flannigan: “You’re exactly right about that. He really came on there at the end of the season. I think he had double-digit tackles in the last two games. You can see him understanding the defense better this spring. He did not have an offseason at all last year because he got here in August, so he’s had an offseason of lifting and running. He looks more athletic. He’s bigger. He’s playing faster. I feel good about the progress that he’s made in one year.”

On if Kengera Daniel will play jack LB or defensive end: “I don’t know where he’s going to play. Today he played end. He was at end today. I don’t know which position he’ll end up at, but he has the skills to do both. That’s the good thing. That’s the good thing.”

On if he expects defense to be more physical: “I expect us to be more physical every year. That’s the emphasis. In this league that’s the key. We’re harping on it. Today was the first day of pads, and we’re going to continue to harp on it throughout the spring.”

On how the staff changes have affected his responsibilities: “Andy Buh is an excellent coach, and I’m very excited to have him. One reason why it’s helped us is because we’ve been able — when we first came here we weren’t as multiple. Then we kind of grew into a multiple defense and we developed more 3-4 schemes and the outside linebackers were involved in our schemes quite a bit, but we didn’t have an outside linebacker coach. Really, who we’re coaching hasn’t changed. It’s just the fact that we have a position that we didn’t have when we first got here. So the fact that Andy’s here and he’s coaching the outside linebackers gives us a coach that is able to put that time and effort into that particular position exclusively, and that’s going to help us in the long run.”

On if he and Jimmy Brumbaugh were both coaching outside linebackers previously: “We were sharing. Yes, yes. Exactly. We were sharing that role. Jimmy and I were sharing that role, and we had two secondary coaches. That’s been a huge benefit for us this spring: having that coach in that particular area.”

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Q&A with offensive coordinator Dawson

SHANNON DAWSON
“What’s up guys? My voice is going, so good luck.”

On if that means he’s been yelling a lot: “It’s more sinuses and allergies than anything. I’ve been yelling a little bit today, but nah. It’s more my head. Good gracious. You guys are — I don’t know what it is down here, but I haven’t been able to breath. It’s not good for me.”

On if they told him about the allergies in his interview: “No. That’d have been a deal breaker.” (Laughter).

On West Virginia having allergies too: “You know what? It was bad there, but it wasn’t this bad. It’s typically changed a lot: zero degrees one day, 50 degrees the next.”

On who his starting quarterback is: “Me, right now.” (Laughter)

On his early impressions of Patrick Towles and Drew Barker: “Yeah, I mean that deal is going to work itself out obviously. I mean, Patrick’s sitting there — he’s got a lot of experience, so that counts too. But ultimately whoever executes the best is going to be the guy. They know that. Right now they’re just trying to learn, compete and put the ball in play really, because the communication is really the hurdle we’re trying to get over, just the way we communicate. It’s just different than most people.”

On if he means terminology is different: “Well, terminology yeah, and just the process of communicating. They’re getting signals from me, and then they’re communicating with the group. That’s all like learning a new language. It’s like if I told you to learn Spanish in two days. That’d be tough, right? I mean just communication is — and you’ve got some miscommunication. You’ve got the quarterback flashing signals quickly to the receiver and the receiver not getting it, which is typical. Frustrating for me, but typical. So, it’s nothing out of the ordinary: just the fact that you’ve got to be able to communicate before you can execute.”

On Towles saying the quarterbacks have more responsibility than last year: “Yeah. I mean the quarterback just communicates more. He handles those 10 guy on the field. So everybody looks to him. That’s probably a little bit different than what they’ve been doing. So just put a lot more on the quarterback as far as — in my opinion to get in and out of plays quickly it’s better for him to communicate because then you don’t have people looking over to the sideline. You’ve got one guy looking to the sideline and everybody else looking to him.

On if he can sense that Drew Barker feels like he has a fresh start with a new OC: “I’m sure he does. I think him and Reese (Philips) both did going into it. It’s unfortunate what happened to (Phillips). I think anytime there’s a change, you’re able to perform on a clean slate. I think that anybody is not starting probably is excited and looks forward that.”

On what Jojo Kemp has done to work his way back into the fold: “We’ve been no pads. So it’s kind of hard to tell anything up front, and a lot of times when you’re not pads run game looks bad in general because you can’t block anybody with no shoulder pads on. So you can’t really evaluate that until you start putting pads on and it starts becoming real life. So really, for me, it helps me for these two days to be non-padded because it is more about communication. And obviously there are some execution things that you want, but the biggest deal with me is being able to communicate across the board and stuff like pre-snap penalties and stuff – which we weren’t very good at today. I think we jumped offsides two or three times today, which is not going to – we’re not going to tolerate that. Stuff like that. I mean, how can you evaluate when it’s not real football? It’s tough.”

On, to be clear, he’s communicating plays to Towles, who then communicates to the rest of the offense: “Don’t be telling everybody that.” (Grinning)

On playmakers that have jumped out through two days: “I mean, none really. We’re putting some emphasis on throwing the ball down the field some, and I would say the playmakers right now are probably on the other side of the ball.”

On how Towles’ mechanics look and how much he’s focusing on that: “Good. I’m just trying to get a read on what I need to work on with both of those guys. So to me, especially like Day 1, I’m just watching them. Both of them, in my opinion, need to be more relaxed, more calm. To me. Everybody teaches different footwork and everything. I’m a huge proponent of being calm. I don’t need a lot of wasted movement. Because if your demeanor’s calm, your brain is typically calm and functioning at a normal rate of speed. When you start getting choppy and body mechanics start going fast, then your brain typically is functioning at the wrong amount of speed that I want it to function. So to me, I just gotta slow those guys down a little bit; slow their process down, slow everything down. Their mechanics are fine. They’ve been throwing the ball for a long time. So stuff like that, I won’t work with it a whole lot. There are some small things with both of them that I’ve addressed after Day 1 that they both, I think you could tell the difference in Day 2 – in drill work. Once it gets to team, you typically revert back to what you’ve been doing. So it’s a process. It really is with that. Because it’s easy drill work, but then once things start flying, you typically revert back to what you’ve been doing for a while. So that’s a process.”

On Patrick Towles saying Jeff Badet can “take the top off a defense”: “I think we got a lot of guys that can do that. It’s gonna take time for us to get to where we’re really working at. I think as the quarterbacks’ comfort level increases and they’re more probably comfortable with the whole offense and communication, it’ll be a lot easier for them to look out there and switch this to that and get more shots down the field. We did more shots down the field today than we did the other day. So that’ll come when everything settles down. I think we got playmakers on offense without a doubt, so it’s our job to get them the ball.”

On having small guys at West Virginia in Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin who made big plays and if he sees anybody comparable here: “I haven’t been around many people like Tavon Austin, I’ll be honest with you. That guy, he’s a special kid. Now, Stedman was a shorter guy at an outside receiver. I definitely think that even Tavon, for instance, there were things he was great at and things that he wasn’t great at. But the ability to make plays with the ball in the hand making somebody miss, I think we got a lot more depth here (of) people that can do that than just one or two. So I think the overall depth here with guys like that is really, really good. Exciting to see.”

On how Ryan Timmons is coming in his rehab and if he has an idea what to expect from Timmons: “He looks like he’s performing. He could be one of those guys, too. That’s a guy that comes to mind. But I’m very careful of labeling anybody anything right now because of the fact that it’s day two, no pads. Once you put pads on, people will start making plays, and the cream rises to the top whenever you start doing that. So I’m not gonna label anybody early, but I think the kid, he looks 100 percent to me.”

On his impressions of the options at offensive tackle without having seen them in pads: “It’s really hard to evaluate up front because of that. But I do think body-wise it’s good, positive. But as far as what we’re doing on the field, there’s zero way to do that until you put pads on. That’s the hardest thing up front. In my opinion it’s more dangerous without pads than with pads. The NCAA, I mean, I don’t understand why the whole no-pad deal. Never have. It’s more dangerous without pads on. But that’s neither here nor there.”

On how much footage of last year dictates what they’re going to run and who will be featured: “Not in what I’m gonna run. There’s a lot of similarities between what Neal was doing and what we’re doing. The biggest difference is probably communication. So I don’t know. Probably not a lot. We’re gonna do what we do.”

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Q&A with Stoops after second spring practice

MARK STOOPS
“Good second day. Felt like we made a little progress here in our second day of spring practice. Guys had good energy for a Monday morning, came out and had a real good practice. Still obviously got a lot of work to do, but overall pleased, pleased with their attitude, their effort. Playing a little bit cleaner. There weren’t as many footballs on the ground today and execution was a touch better. Just overall pleased with the effort. Continuing to get better and work hard.”

On if Drew Barker went with the first team today as scheduled: “He did. He did. Shannon’s (Dawson) coming in here in a little bit and he can talk a little bit about what he’s seen so far, but both guys have done some very good things and have a lot of talent, so it will be good to see how the rest of the spring goes.”

On special teams and not having coordinator: “It just felt like with the four defensive coaches, we have five on offense, four on defense and I didn’t want to put the entire load on our fourth defensive coach. So Andy will take the punt and kickoff and obviously they’re all important ad we’re working extremely hard in those two units right now — really worked punt the first two days. So that’s where we’re at with that. We’ll have some of our other assistants handle some of the other special teams.”

On if Jeff Badet and Alexander Montgomery can get something from their red-shirt years: “Yeah, I think so; I hope so. I think obviously they’re a year older, more mature, physically better. Certainly a guy like Jeff who came in and played as a true freshman had a chance to go back in that weight room and just physically grow up a little bit. Alex has always had pretty good speed and pretty good size, so I think it helped them in certain ways.”

On if he’s seeing how much UK missed those guys last year: “You know, with the injury report as I went over Saturday with having some of the wide receivers down, it’s important. In the spring you’re getting so many reps and you’re looking at everybody, and you need so many bodies. We are a little bit thin, so it is nice to have them back.”

On if they seem close to 100 percent physically: “Alex, Alex … They’ll be fine. Jeff seems like there’s nothing restricting him at all. Alex, just little things. Being out that long, his other leg maybe, he had a little issue with his other leg. We backed off of him today. So he’ll be fine. Nothing with the surgically repaired knee or anything like that. But there’s going to be some issues we have to work through. We have a lot of time, it’s just good to see them out there and working through it.”

On difference with this spring: “Sure it’s different. It’s just another year in the program. As we would expect, just more progress, more bodies, a little bit cleaner, more efficient in what we’re doing. We’re certainly further ahead than we were day two last spring, but we should be, and that’s good to see.”

On changes for offense with new coordinator: “It does. A little bit, sure. Just with the communication and the operation of practice and our guys get used to it a little bit. For the most part a lot of the plays are the same, but there are certainly some different effects in the operation and the communication.”

On if there’s a three-day install on this offense like the previous one: “Same. Same deal. All these guys, they fell out of the same tree.”

On what coaches wanted to see from Boom Williams in the offseason and what they’re seeing: “Boom is growing and maturing and just like any true freshman in their first year of school, he has strides to make and he knows that. Just all the little things it takes to be a successful player on the field and off. He’s got a good attitude and he’s working hard and doing the right things, but he needs to continue to do that and be consistent in what he’s doing off the field in particular with academics and so on and so forth.”

On where leadership comes from on defensive side of the ball with guys like Bud Dupree gone: “We’ve got a lot of guys who have played. Josh (Forrest) has played an awful lot of football. Melvin (Lewis) has played an awful lot of football and just as a unit, I think we’re probably ahead of where we were even though we lost some great players. I just think overall when you look at the 22 guys in the two deep, I just feel like we’re a little bit more efficient at this point.”

On Dupree’s NFL Combine performance and what Stoops thought of it: “I’ve just been very proud for Bud because he’s, it’s great for us, here we are in our second year leading into our third season and it’s nice for us to show that to our players because he’s a guy who came in and said, ‘What do I need to do? What do I need to eat? How do I need to train?’ (He) watched extra film. He was a great leader. Once Avery (Williamson) left, it was nice to see him assume that position, which wasn’t extremely comfortable for him and he did it. He’s just a guy we’re all very proud of. He’s worked extremely hard. He deserves everything he gets. And so it will be fun. I understand there’s some head coaches coming in Thursday to see his workout, so he’s getting a lot of attention and deservedly so.”

On any position changes this spring: “Give or take a few things with moving some receivers around inside and out and things like that. Nothing major, I can’t think of.”

On what Jojo Kemp needs to do to get back into rotation: “He will. He will get back in the fold and we need him. You know I’ve always talked highly of him really all the time. I love his attitude and his demeanor. He’s been very good. He brings a toughness and an energy that you need and so he has worked his way back in the mix and he will continue to do that.”

On what changed for Kemp: “I don’t know. It’s hard to put a finger on things. Maybe guys aren’t feeling as good as they were and those running backs take a beating. He’s certainly had some feet and ankle issues over the years. Sometimes he appears to be more effective than others, but that’s no different than a lot of kids. When you go through a tough season, it’s hard to be at your top and when you have other good players that maybe have a little more bounce in their step at the moment, that’s who we have to go with.”

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With Phillips injury, Cats down to two QBs

Kentucky quarterback Reese Phillips will miss spring practice after suffering a ruptured Achilles’ tendon in workouts on Wednesday, a team spokesman confirmed.

The 6-foot-2, 218-pound sophomore from outside Chattanooga will have surgery and be able to return in the fall, Tony Neely added.

As the backup to Patrick Towles last season, Phillips played in three games, completing two of his nine pass attempts for 45 yards with one interception.

Kentucky will start spring practice on Saturday morning with just two healthy quarterbacks in Towles, who started all 12 games, and threw for 2,718 yards and 14 touchdowns with nine interceptions. The junior completed 57.3 percent of his passes last season, as well as Drew Barker, who red-shirted last season.

Barker — whom UK Coach Mark Stoops confirmed has been questioned along with teammates Tymere Dubose and Dorian Baker — about his part in a bar fight in Richmond several weeks ago has not been charged.

There have been no new developments in the case, Richmond Police Chief Larry Brock told the Herald-Leader on Wednesday: “Nothing yet. Hoping soon.”

Former UK starter Maxwell Smith parted ways with Kentucky after graduating in January and enrolled at San Diego State, where he is in the mix for the starting job there.

The Granada Hills, Calif., native played in 21 games at Kentucky, starting in 11 of them, but had a series of injuries that sidelined him.

Both Stoops and new offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson have said there will be an open competition for the starting quarterback job.

“You’re going to have to earn your stripes,” Dawson said at his introductory news conference. “You’re going to have to earn the job. So we’re going to give those guys opportunities to compete just like I’ve done everywhere I’ve been. And whoever is the most efficient guy and whoever is the best guy is going to get the job.”

 

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Baseball, tennis on deck for new facilities

Almost every homeowner has a long list of renovations and repairs to make down the road.

So think of Kentucky’s athletics department as a massive home with lots of gutters to be replaced and bathrooms to be remodeled.

At a recent sit-down with the Herald-Leader, Kentucky Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart outlined some renovations and remodels that are in the works.

It sounds like a new baseball stadium and indoor tennis complex are next up and sooner rather than later.

“We know exactly where we want to put the baseball stadium,” Barnhart said. “I’m hopeful within the next 3-4 months, we’ll have a solid plan in terms of a timeline to get that out. We’re hopeful. We’ve got some work to do in funding models, but I think we’re pretty close.”

Barnhart noted that aside from track and field, which got new facilities recently, baseball and tennis probably have had to wait the longest of any sports to get major upgrades.

“We’ve sort of band-aided it together for a while,” Barnhart said. “We’ve got to get past that. … I’ve got to give them a plan so they can go out and recruit with that.”

Later down the road, gymnastics likely will get some upgrades to its training area.

Memorial Coliseum could get a facelift, too.

“The scoreboards have been here a long time — which they’ve really outlasted what I thought they would — so we’re going to have to address that,” he said. “The video boards and the score boards, that technology has changed. We’ve gotta do that.

“At some point in time, we’re probably going to have to think about the seating bowl and what we need to do with the wood seats, trying to bring some life and color to it a little bit.”

Every year he receives multiple letters from fans complaining about the old, stained ceiling tiles in the 65-year-old venue that houses women’s basketball, volleyball, gymnastics and other events, but it’s a bigger project than just popping out some tiles.

“It sounds like an easy task, but it will take $1.5 or $2 million to replace ceiling tiles,” Barnhart said.

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Stoops, Barnhart renew call for early signing period

In a matter of days, Kentucky saw nearly a quarter of its 2015 signing class go in a different direction, which left Cats coaches going in 100 different directions.

Places like Auburn and Michigan State swooped in and left what Rivals.com called a “Signing Day bruise” on Mark Stoops and the Cats.

In many late-night phone calls and previously unscheduled trips in the days leading up to National Signing Day, Kentucky was able to recover enough to land the 35th best class in the nation.

But the commitment carousel was enough to make Stoops’ head spin and again call for an early signing period for college football.

“My personal thought is it makes no sense not to,” the Kentucky coach said on Wednesday. “We recruit these guys for over a year, year and a half, two years. Whatever it may be. And if they give us their word and want to come to Kentucky, then give them the scholarship and let them sign it, and that protects both them and you.”

It’s a thought that Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart drove home again two days later, noting that it’s against what many in the Southeastern Conference want, but he believes having an early signing period for college football is necessary.

“There’s two signing periods in almost every other sports out there, maybe with the exception of soccer,” Barnhart told the Herald-Leader on Friday. “Everyone else can sign a couple times a year, windows where you can do something.

“Kids that have made their decisions and don’t want to continue to be called and they’re ready to make a decision to go on, should be able to do that and be done.”

An early signing period was recommended by a national committee in January, suggesting a 72-hour window that would begin the third Wednesday of December, similar to the timeframe for junior college players to sign with schools.

An association made up of the commissioners of the 32 Division I conferences will vote on an early football signing period in June.

It’s not clear how the SEC will vote, though, with Barnhart noting that the push for an early signing period is not big in the conference. He said there are four or five schools in the league that are for it while the rest are not.

“If I’m sitting in some of the schools that are traditionally powerful, I’d like the ability after my bowl game is over to sit here and say, ‘I didn’t get this person, so I’m going to go take that one from this school. That’s the best player they’ve got and I didn’t offer him early on,’” Barnhart said, noting that it’s something Kentucky similarly could do in basketball.

Both the UK coach and AD noted that many schools like the traditional timeline, which allows more time for coaches to meet with prospects on campus once the grind of the season winds down.

“We all are a little bit hesitant about hosting official visits all fall because we’re busy enough with games, and then you take on ‑‑ I don’t know if you do the families justice a lot of times because we don’t have the time to spend with them, and a lot of people are opposed to that,” Stoops said.

But he noted that plenty of players already make visits in season and are accommodated effectively.

To arguments that an early signing period would change the recruiting cycle, Barnhart said: “Well, welcome to the world.

“Just because we’ve done it like this for 25 years, doesn’t mean we have to keep doing it this way for 25 more. It would give some balance to people who have worked hard in recruiting.”

The amount of money and time wasted flying around the country piecing a recruiting class back together in the final days is a waste, both Stoops and Barnhart argued.

“They have our word that I’m going to give them a scholarship, and it would certainly save the university an awful lot of money, and it would save our coaches an awful lot of time,” Stoops said.

And while Barnhart said he was pleased with the end result of this class, saying the staff “closed well,” he wondered what the class might have looked like had players been allowed to sign early.

It’s frustrating for all involved, UK recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow said on Wednesday.

“You know, you do a lot of work for these guys and you hold scholarships,” he said. “When we get commitments, we hold them, and we don’t recruit other people at that position.”

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Updates on stadium, practice facility and more

The renovation schedule around Commonwealth Stadium is about as on schedule as a project of that size and scope ($120 million) can be, Kentucky Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart told the Herald-Leader on Friday.

“I’m not foolish enough to believe that on the night before the first game there isn’t going to be massive, massive activity in the building,” he said. “There will be. I think they’re doing a lot and working really hard at it and they seem to be in a good spot.”

The AD tours the facility every two weeks or so and said there’s been “significant progress” made.

“It’s exciting to watch it change every day,” he said.

Finishing touches on stadium

Ever built or redecorated a house? There are tons of small design decisions that go into it from fixtures to paint colors. Now imagine redecorating a $120,000 stadium and new turf field with a handful of your closest colleagues.

“We’ve got a lot of little decisions still,” Barnhart said when asked about turf designs and goal-post changes to expect.

UK looked at altering the current collapsible goalposts and potentially changing them to the more old-school “H” look so the team could run through them instead of around them when they enter the field.

For safety reasons, though, the goal posts likely won’t change.

As for turf designs and decorations, those are currently in the hands of head coach Mark Stoops.

“Mark’s having some final looks at what the field will look like,” Barnhart said. “We’ll go through that. I’ve had some looks at it and made some suggestions to it.”

Without giving away any of the final decisions, Barnhart said there is a common thread running throughout the renovations.

“What we’ve come to do in our facilities is a pretty clean look that is a little edgy, that’s got an element of cool to it,” he said. “Hopefully we’ve done that. There’s a bit of a traditional piece to it that I want to keep. I want to incorporate all of those things.”

Practice facility ‘off and running’

There wasn’t a big blue ribbon-cutting ceremony, no pomp and circumstance at all, but construction of Kentucky’s new practice facility has indeed begun.

Barnhart was at a meeting in Indianapolis when Senior Associate Athletics Director Russ Pear sent him a text of a bulldozer with a fence around it and the words: “Here we go.”

“So we’re off and running with that,” Barnhart laughed. The $45 million facility is expected to be finished in early 2016.

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Stoops has successful knee surgery

Coach Mark Stoops had surgery on his knee Thursday morning and it went well, a Kentucky spokesman confirmed.

The UK coach, who announced his 2015 class at signing day Wednesday, is expected to make a full recovery and will be able to coach in spring practices, Tony Neely said.

There is no schedule available for spring practices or which ones will be open to the public. UK announced recently that there will be several open practices because of the lack of a Blue-White scrimmage this spring.

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