Jen Smith on UK Football

Kentucky’s Stoops revved up, ready to get football camp going

Football Team on Media Day

The UK football team gathered for a group photo and interacted with the press during football media day 2016 at Commonwealth Stadium.
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The UK football team gathered for a group photo and interacted with the press during football media day 2016 at Commonwealth Stadium.

Coffee in hand, Mark Stoops kept his Media Day opening statement less than a minute.

“I’m done with the talking season,” the caffienated Kentucky head coach said.

Before team group photos at Commonwealth Stadium were taken, Stoops offered some updates a few hours before the first practices of fall camp begin.

Here are a few things he’s discussed at Friday’s news conference:

After the team met together for the first time Thursday night, the team leadership asked for the coaches to leave so there could be a “players only meeting” to discuss expectations for camp.

He specifically discussed the strong leadership he’s seen from starting quarterback Drew Barker and middle linebacker Courtney Love, who the head coach said is “not afraid to be unpopular.”

Kentucky starting quarterback Drew Barker said on Media Day he's not worried about the pressure to produce.

▪  Kentucky will begin fall camp at full strength with the exception of wide receiver Alexander Montgomery, who is still coming back from a knee injury last season. … Junior-college linebacker Jordan Bonner, who missed summer workouts while finishing up academics, is on campus and healthy. Defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot said technique-wise, Bonner is sound, but has to learn about scheme and other things UK is trying to do.

▪  On strength of offense, Stoops said he thinks the veteran leadership is important. “There’s a bunch of guys who have played a lot of football.” Even though the offense has taken its lumps, he feels good about the players UK has returning, including four of five offensive line starters.

Dorian Baker, Kentucky's leading receiver last year, was asked on Media Day what he will be working on this fall.

▪  On potential depth at QB, Stoops said. “I feel good about Stephen Johnson,” who brings a different look to the offense, which the coach said they plan to “dabble” in.

▪  Around 150 former players and their families will be on campus this weekend to see the new practice facility and meet with current players, Stoops said, adding: “We want to embrace our history.”

Backup quarterback Stephen Johnson, a junior college transfer, said on Media Day his goal is to be Kentucky's starting quarterback. He's currently behind Drew Barker.

Former Lafayette star Landon Young said on Media Day he thinks playing for UK does mean more to players from Kentucky.

Football head coach Mark Stoops answered questions during a press conference at UK's 2016 football media day at Commonwealth Stadium.

Kentucky nose tackle Matt Elam talks on Media Day about now being the starter at his position.

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