Kentucky running low on WRs after injury, departure

jsmith3@herald-leader.comApril 23, 2014 Updated 11 hours ago

  • SATURDAY

    Blue-White Spring Game

    When: 3:30 p.m.

    Where: Commonwealth Stadium

    TV: Live on CWKYT-27.2 (Delayed broadcasts on Fox Sports South at 7 p.m. Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday)

    Radio: WLAP-AM 630

Kentucky's players got more Stoops than they bargained for Wednesday as two of their head coach's older brothers, Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops and defensive coordinator Mike Stoops, flew in for a visit.

At one point during drills, Mike Stoops even shouted out some instruction.

"That's what they're here for," Mark Stoops said of his big brothers. "I mean, they're not here just for fun. You know, we've got to put them to work. So, absolutely that's what we constantly do. We talk about ideas, ways to do things, different change-ups, how they may play a certain formation or a certain adjustment.

"So it's good to have them here. I'm definitely going to utilize them while they're here to go watch some film of this practice and some previous spring practices and get some work done."

The only brother missing was Ron, an assistant coach at Youngstown State.

The plan after practice was to have the Stoops brothers go in and watch film and talk football, Mark Stoops said.

Bob Stoops, who has publicly questioned the media's unconditional love of all things Southeastern Conference football, was wearing a gray UK pullover Wednesday.

Did the Oklahoma head coach lose a bet or something?

"No, he was cold," Mark Stoops said laughing. "They like to support us. He's proud to wear it. I'm sure he'll take that home with him."

A coach of a different sort also made a short appearance at UK's practice Wednesday. Men's basketball coach John Calipari stopped by to say hi, too.

"He had some time this morning to come out and say hi and see my brothers and stop in and see a little bit of practice," Stoops said. "It was good to see him out here."

A.J. Legree to transfer

Without much discussion or fanfare, wide receiver A.J. Legree opted to leave the Kentucky football program.

The 6-foot-1 junior from Fort White, Fla., has "wrapped it up," Coach Mark Stoops announced on Wednesday after practice.

"He's gonna quit and go play somewhere else and we wish him the best of luck," Stoops said of Legree, who caught seven passes for 97 yards last season.

Legree was a standout on special teams with 10 tackles as well as a forced and recovered fumble last season.

The wide-out spot already was thin this spring with leading receiver Javess Blue out with shoulder surgery and Alex Montgomery still recovering from a torn knee ligament.

Stoops also announced Wednesday that Jeff Badet will miss the rest of spring practice and Saturday's Blue-White Spring Game with a broken fibula.

At practice on Wednesday, it appeared that just four scholarship wide receivers went through drills (Rashad Cunningham, T.V. Williams, Demarco Robinson and Ryan Timmons, who was wearing a no-contact red jersey).

The Legree news seemed to come at a bad time, but Stoops discounted that notion. "We'll be fine," he repeated three times. "I want the guys who want to be here; I'm not worried about any of that."

Legree was featured as sort of Kentucky's "every man" football player in a marketing campaign last fall wearing the No. 13 jersey for the 2013 season and a shaded visor. His image was several stories tall and hung on the side of Commonwealth Stadium all of last season.

"It was crazy, I didn't expect them to pick me, of all people, to do something like that," Legree said last season. "To me, it kind of showed me (how) the coaches look at me. I've got to be that guy this year."

Legree said it didn't bother him at all that his face was obscured.

"I knew what I was representing," he said. "At the end of the day, I want to see UK on top."

Badet breaks leg

Wide receiver Jeff Badet is expected to be sidelined two to three months after breaking his right leg during Monday's practice.

The 6-foot Badet had 22 catches for 285 yards and a touchdown last season as a true freshman.

Stoops said the injury, which he called a "freaky accident," was a clean bone break of the fibula (lower leg) and would not require surgery.

"He was alone. It was a good play-action pass; he was wide open," Stoops said. "He kind of got underthrown and it was just a freaky accident. It looked like on film his own knee came down on his ankle and he broke (his fibula).

"So he'll be fine. Just needs to rest up."

Spring game approaching 'sellout'

The free tickets for Saturday's Blue-White Spring Game at Commonwealth Stadium are almost gone.

Kentucky officials said Wednesday that 40,500 of the available 42,500 tickets have been distributed.

Commonwealth Stadium's capacity is limited for the game because of ongoing construction.

The free tickets can be obtained online at Ticketmaster.com or by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000.

There is a service charge on the tickets ordered online.

Tickets can be picked up on game day at the stadium if any are still available.

Jennifer Smith: (859) 231-3241. Twitter: @jenheraldleader. Blog: ukfootball.bloginky.com.

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