Five things to watch in Kentucky's Blue-White Spring Game

jsmith3@herald-leader.comApril 25, 2014 

ukVas

UK running back Jojo Kemp missed another practice as to let his ailing hamstring fully heal. Coach Mark Stoops expects him back "full go" by Wednesday.

JONATHAN PALMER

Five position battles to watch in Kentucky's Blue-White Spring Game on Saturday:

Quarterbacks: The three-man race among Drew Barker, Reese Phillips and Patrick Towles will attract the most fan attention at Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday.

Running backs: UK has a crowded backfield that includes leading rusher Jojo Kemp, Nebraska transfer Braylon Heard and Josh Clemons, who is coming off knee and Achilles' injuries. Early enrollee Mikel Horton is also in the mix. It sounds as though Heard and Kemp have emerged as starting contenders.

Secondary: Kentucky was tied for last in the nation in interceptions last season with three. Will the return of a guy like J.D. Harmon and junior-college transfer A.J. Stamps help force more turnovers?

Center of defense: UK lost the middle of its defense with the graduation of Mr. Everything Avery Williamson and tackles Donte Rumph and Mister Cobble. Who will step into those spots and the leadership roles?

Wide receivers: Offensive coordinator Neal Brown is interested to see how the team's wideouts will respond to the lack of depth created by a rash of injuries, specifically at the X position (Demarco Robinson will get the start for injured Jeff Badet) and the Y position, which Brown called "up in the air."

Jennifer Smith

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

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