March is not only for college basketball. The 2023 Kentucky Football team started spring practice this week and the excitement is high in Lexington. There are plenty of new talented faces on campus, but there are also some long-time Wildcats looking to make a name for themselves. Long story short, everyone has something to prove before the summer.
We heard his name all through fall camp in 2022, and now Deone Walker is getting the full offseason experience this year. The second-year man out of Detroit stacked up the accolades as a freshman and will be looking to add more in 2023. This training staff is one of the best in the country in developing high school kids into NFL caliber bodies. Combine his talent with his year's worth of experience and time in the weight room, then you have a monster waiting to be unleashed on the rest of college football. His journey to SEC stardom begins right now in spring training. You should anticipate his name to be brought up quite a bit as we get a better feel for this roster.
What a welcome sight it is to see Vito Tisdale back in uniform. The Bowling Green native has struggled to stay on the field due to off the field issues and injuries, but all signs are pointing towards him being a full go in 2023. As we are all aware of, Tisdale wears his heart on his sleeve and is looking to impress his coaches along with pro scouts this year. Look for him to be a man on a mission as well, all season long.
With the departure of Carrington Valentine to the NFL Draft, Mark Stoops will be looking for someone to step up among the cornerbacks. Who might that be? Look no further than JQ Hardaway. The Cincinnati transfer is a former four-star recruit and will be looking to make an immediate impact in Brad White's defense. He comes in with 8 tackles and a sack from the previous season up north.
It's safe to assume that Ray Davis will be Liam Coen's number one option in the running back room. Behind him are a few formidable options such as La'Vell Wright, Ramon Jefferson, and JuTahn McClain. With Jefferson unavailable for the spring, the attention turns to Wright and McClain for the RB2 spot. Given how the snaps were split last year, McClain seems to be ahead in that race at the moment. The senior from Fairfield, Ohio, provides the option to use the running back in the passing game, which is a vital part of what Coen wants to include in the 2023 offense. If Jefferson comes back healthy for the fall, McClain will have to use this period to show he deserves snaps behind Davis and Jefferson.
Sometimes destiny takes a little longer to play out than we like. That is most certainly the case with Tanner Bowles. The Alabama transfer is back in his home state wearing the blue and white after deciding he needed to make the move back home for a better opportunity. Considering the Big Blue Wall drastically under performed last year, expect every position on the o-line to be an open competition. Bowles will fit right into that fold as the former four-star recruit has been conditioned under the best coaching staff in America at Alabama. Do not be shocked if he ends up in the starting-five when fall rolls around.
This roster is loaded with great talent. There will be plenty of other guys to keep your eyes on moving forward. You must be highly optimistic about how good this team can get during the spring practicing season.