Kentucky made it official Friday with the announcement that junior defensive tackle Regie Meant is no longer enrolled in school and no longer a part of the team.
A projected starter, Meant left the team after the second practice of fall camp for what the team called “personal reasons.” The departure was termed “indefinite” at the time. No further details were given.
A 6-foot-4, 302-pounder from Cape Coral, Fla., Meant played in 10 games last season with four starts. He was credited with 31 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and one sack.
In his absence, senior Courtney Miggins appears to be running first team at one of the defensive tackle spots with junior Alvonte Bell first-team at the other tackle spot. Both are junior college transfers from Pearl River Community College in Mississippi. Miggins played last season while Bell redshirted.
Landon Young will play as a true freshman
“He’s going to be a phenomenal player,” Stoops said.
At 6-foot-7, 305-pounds, Young was a five-star recruit coming out of Lafayette High School. Still, not many true freshen can play on the offensive line in the SEC. What makes UK think Young is ready?
“He’s got good change of direction; great length obviously with how long he is,” offensive line coach John Schlarman said Friday. “His footwork has come a long way in the last three weeks. I think three weeks ago I would have probably said that’s something he really needs to work on and he still needs to work on it, but that’s something that has come a long way and is going to give him a chance.
“He knows he’s going to have to get stronger over the course of time. That’s no different than any other true freshmen. I’ve only seen a couple, in this league especially, that have come in and have the strength to endure it. But his footwork, his length, he picks up on the scheme really quick. And that’s a tremendous asset to be smart. I think those give him a chance.”
Praise for Gunnar Hoak
With sophomore Drew Barker the starter and junior Stephen Johnson the backup at quarterback for the opener against Southern Miss, what’s the plan for true freshman Gunnar Hoak, a three-star recruit out of Dublin, Ohio who enrolled early and participated in spring practice with UK?
“We’re gonna rotate him with the scout team and also prepare him in case he has to play and stuff like that,” quarterbacks coach Darin Hinshaw said Friday. “We’re also gonna do the same thing with the other quarterbacks so that anybody else is ready to play.”
How has Hoak done in fall camp?
“Yeah, Gunnar Hoak did a fantastic job,” Hinshaw said. “Obviously in the spring he was supposed to be in high school, so it was a huge learning curve. But where he came from in the spring and the summer and now here he is in the fall, he’s looking like a veteran. He’s doing a lot of good things. Now, he’s still making freshman mistakes and he’s got to learn to take care of the football better, but he’s got a strong arm, he understands the offense now. I really believe that. Now we’ve got to get him to master the offense and continue to get better, so really proud of him and where he’s come.”