Jen Smith on UK Football

Don’t be surprised to see Drake Jackson take some snaps vs. Eastern Michigan, Stoops says

MARK STOOPS

“It’s been a good, solid week of practice and we’ll put the finishing touches on tomorrow. It’s been hot till today so we got some good work the past couple days. Guys seem to be in good spirits so we’ll be anxious and ready to get back out there.”

On if Derrick Baity practiced this week: “He was out there today. He did not practice till today. And obviously today’s a walk through. He is cleared.”

On what they want to see from Darius West to become a more vocal leader: “I think anytime we’re constantly trying to get our guys to communicate and talk, and we’ve been through that. It gets loud in there, and with communication, it’s verbal but it’s also hand signals and being urgent. I think that’s what we’re talking about, guys just really stepping out and taking charge in a lot of areas. But Darius is playing very good football.”

On Steve Clinkscale saying guys want to follow Darius West and if he gets that feeling: “Definitely, I do. He’s a guy that brings a little wood when he hits you. He’s gotta little thump to him. He’s a big, thick guy, and he has a strong presence about him.”

On what he expects Saturday: “I just want us to continue to play the way we’ve been playing, and that’s very hard and very passionate. The guys have been playing hard all year. They really have. If we play with that kind of energy and that kind of attitude, play for each other, trust in each other, we’ll be fine. We definitely need to play with that same mentality we’ve been playing with.”

On EMU series, and playing at EMU in 2019 can help recruit Michigan at all: “Maybe. I don’t know. We’ll see.”

On caller breaking down on his radio show: “Yeah, you guys love that, don’t you? Yeah, it’s been a little dramatic lately on the show. It was good. I appreciate that, and I appreciate what he said. Again, you know I’ve talked about it all the time. We work hard and practice hard and try to put a good product on the field to make all the people happy, especially the fans that have been in this for a long time. We don’t shy away from that and accept that responsibility and want to play well for them, so I appreciate him and his support.”

On EMU’s quarterback: “He’s really good. Really good player. Just really talented. Really trusts his arm. Can make all the throws. I was very impressed. It’ll be interesting to see if he’s at full strength. Looked like he got banged up late the last game. You could tell how tough he is. He came in and gutted it out and played and put his team in a position to win. You could tell how sore his arm was. Obviously he’s a tough competitor.”

On if UK scouted EMU’s QB in high school: “I don’t recall. I don’t remember back that far but I know he was a highly ranked guy coming out. I’m sure we looked at him at some point. But he’s a very good player.”

On Jordan Griffin: “He’s been doing good. Again, you know, you’ve heard us talk about it. We’ve put him in a lot of different positions. He’s very versatile. He’s played a lot of different spots. Obviously we trust him. I know he was disappointed in the reverse pass. He got his feet tangled up. I believe he saw it coming. He said he anticipated it, saw it coming. He just kinda got his feet out of position and that was unfortunate. But he’s played good football.”

On extra motivation for C.J. Conrad since his brother’s team beat Eastern Michigan last week: (Laughs) “I don’t know. You’d have to ask him.”

On needing outside receivers to get open more and if he’s seen that this week: “The guys have worked hard this week. I have. I’ve seen them really throwing the ball well. I know when we’ve gone good against good they’ve looked sharp, so hopefully we’ll get out there and get the guys open, get them the ball, throw it around a little bit.”

On any new developments at center or the snapping issue: “No, same thing, like we said earlier in the week, probably give Drake (Jackson) some reps. We need to. Get in there. He’s had couple really solid weeks of practice the past two weeks, and so I think we’ll get him in the rotation at some point.”

On if his inexperience could mean snap issues, too: “He’s been very consistent with his snaps.”

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