Jen Smith on UK Football

UK football practice report: Exits, linebacker movement, injury updates

Kentucky Coach Mark Stoops knows how to bury the lead of the story. He started his Monday lunchtime news conference about how there has been good work on both side of the ball, fewer mental mistakes and how they need to build some depth “in certain areas.” One of those areas happened to be the defensive line, where he also announced that UK is losing one of its most veteran players — at least for a little while — in Regie Meant. The junior is out indefinitely for what Stoops called “personal reasons” without elaborating on those or the timeline for his return. You can read more about that here.

Another departure: While it’s unclear when Meant will return to the team, tight end Darryl Long is exiting in a more permanent way, with Stoops saying the 6-foot-4, 246-pound sophomore from Ohio is transferring. “He’s going to transfer somewhere where he can get more playing time,” Stoops said. “We’re getting deeper at that position, even with the emergence of the true freshman Justin Rigg. We wish Darryl the best and I appreciate everything he did for us.” A star emerged last season in C.J. Conrad and Nebraska transfer Greg Hart also has shown big potential at that spot, Vince Marrow said recently.

A little less conversation? The high motor of linebacker Jordan Jones was the talk of spring ball, but Stoops wants a little more discipline from the young player. “Jordan Jones is doing some good things on the field,” he said. “We’re going to be a disciplined football team. Jordan needs to work on that discipline. If he can’t then he won’t play.” To drive that home, Stoops moved Eli Brown into the starting spot on Monday. The redshirt freshman from Bowling Green said his goal was to keep that spot now that he has it.

Injury report: After missing Saturday’s open practice with an illness, linebacker Nico Firios (penciled in at middle linebacker behind Courtney Love) is back on the field. “He’s starting to catch on and get some reps,” Stoops said. … The head coach said there haven’t been any significant injuries so far in camp.

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