News and notes from the University of Kentucky's Friday football practice, a mere three weeks and one day before the season opener against Louisiana-Lafayette:
MOVING DAY: Kentucky will hold a closed scrimmage at Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday morning with hopes of trying to create some separation on the depth chart, including at quarterback. “You only get guaranteed 12 chances during the season and you only get a couple during camp,” Patrick Towles said. “So I’m really excited to go out there and see where I’m at and see where our offense is at as a whole.” And even though offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson said every day is important in the battles for each spot, both Towles and Drew Barker said there’s something that elevates scrimmage day. ”That’s as close to a game situation as the coaches can put us in, so obviously it’s going to be a more important day compared to the other practices,” Barker said. Both quarterbacks seemed ready for the competition to wrap up. “Well, they’ve gotta make a decision sooner or later,” Towles said with a laugh. “Kinda running out of time.”
BIG PLAY BAKER?: Mark Stoops didn’t meet with the media Friday, but he did say in passing that the offense had a good day with lots of big plays. Many of those plays apparently came courtesy of wideout Dorian Baker, who has multiple nicknames depending on which quarterback you ask. Wide receivers coach Tommy Mainord told Towles: “Just get it in our guys’ zip code,’ and he’s like a two-car garage out there,” the junior said. Barker likened Baker to a famous Thoroughbred. “Today he made two great catches,” Barker said. “I mean, one-handed, back shoulder catches. Just great. They call him American Pharoah because he’s so big and runs so good.” Offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson seemed pleased with Baker’s physical play and willingness to block.
KING MAKING MOVES: Don’t look for a redshirt to be placed on true freshman running back Sihiem King, with running backs coach Chad Scott noting that King is too quick and talented to be watching from the sideline this season.
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INJURY UPDATES: Running back Stanley "Boom" Williams didn’t practice again Friday, but he’s listed as day-to-day by Scott, who said the sophomore has shown a maturity this season even while sitting. “He’s getting mental reps, he’s actually paying attention,” Scott said. “Last year he’d be so upset with himself, kind of be off to the side, but he’s doing a great job of standing behind, getting the mental reps and encouraging the other guys. He’s very active in the meetings.” Talked to senior offensive lineman Zach West about how he’s feeling after that mystery nerve problem for much of last season and the former Lexington Christian star said he’s pain-free and feeling 100 percent for the first time in a long time.
DAILY LINK: You get a bonus link today. First is a look at how true freshman C.J. Conrad has bounced back from his surgery and become more explosive and why he hears the name Jacob Tamme almost daily. Also part two of Ben Roberts’ Q & A with Vince Marrow on Kentucky recruiting and his flirtation with Michigan.