First day of spring practice 'beautiful' for Brooks

Kentucky football coach Rich Brooks began the "fun part" of his job when the Wildcats opened spring practice on a sun-splashed Wednesday morning at the Nutter Training Facility.

Brooks said he was happy about being on the field with his Cats again and trying to improve his players' skills and techniques.

"I think there's great enthusiasm amongst our team," he said. "Now we just have to polish things off and get better. It was a pretty good day for the start of spring ball. Beautiful weather. Outstanding."

Brooks said most Wildcats knew what they were doing in regard to their assignments.

Younger players were the exception, including inexperienced centers getting the ball to the quarterbacks.

"The quarterbacks looked like they were a little rusty, too, throwing the ball," Brooks said.

"The high ball was thrown a little bit. But that'll come around. I'm sure, by Friday, it'll look a little sharper. Then the pads will go on, and we'll get a little rusty again."

Brooks seemed pleased with his team's athleticism even in jerseys and shorts.

"It's a long way from what it was when we got here (in 2003)," Brooks said. "We don't have very many guys who can't run, and that includes our linemen. Overall, the preparation and conditioning are pretty good for this team."

Brooks announced that junior cornerback Paul Warford, from Richmond, will miss spring practice with a broken foot bone. He is expected to participate in summer workouts. Warford was a starter in 2007 but sat out last season because of academics.

Kentucky is coming off its third consecutive bowl victory and returns 50 lettermen and 12 starters.

Practice concludes with the Blue/White Game on April 25.