Now that Kentucky Football Media Day has come and gone, I wanted to break down what Defensive Coordinator/Outside Linebackers Coach, Brad White, had to say when he was addressed by the media yesterday.
Right out of the gate Brad White was asked about Chris Oats and what it meant for him, the team, and the entire program as a whole to have him back around the program again.
This is what Brad White had to say about that:
You can definitely tell that the morale of the team is much higher whenever Chris Oats enters the room, it's wonderful to see all of the players be so encouraging and uplifting to Chris whether that be the veterans who have actually played with Chris or the new guys who are just now getting acquainted with him. Having him back around the program will play a big part in boosting the overall morale of the program going forward.
White was asked about the difference that he sees in JJ Weaver coming into this season now knowing that Weaver has fully recovered from his ACL injury.
This is what Brad White had to say:
The Linebacker position has the keys to being one of the best in the Mark Stoops era with the return of JJ Weaver, Jordan Wright, DeAndre Square, and Jacquez Jones. A couple of names to remember are Luke Fulton and D'Eryk Jackson. If this core group of guys can get some help from the young guns then this could be a very special group for Brad White.
Question: Can you talk about the defensive back's that you guys added through the transfer portal? It seems as though it was a big emphasis for you all.
"It was, and I think that we have depth at that position and obviously it was only the first day of practice but there are veterans that we picked up who have played a lot of football and you look at Keidron (Smith) being able to start for 4 years in the SEC, that's a whole bunch of snaps he is smart and savvy he was able to pick up on our defense very quickly and the same goes for Zion (Childress) back there at the safety position as well as Jordan's (Lovett) athleticism. We feel bigger and more athletic and we have a mix of both new and older guys and the older guys have been able to get the new guys caught up to speed. What I like about this group of guys is that they have left their egos at the door and they've got a chip on their shoulders. Don't think that they haven't heard all the noise that everyone has been saying about them."
One of the concerns going into the offseason last year was the secondary. Kentucky hopes to have addressed this issue during the offseason by picking up Keidron Smith, a transfer from Ole Miss, keeping the Super Senior, Tyrel Ajian, getting another talented transfer in Zion Childress (from Texas State) and signing three talented freshmen in Alex Afari, Ja'Kobi Albert, and Jordan Lovett.
Question: What does Alex Afari bring to the table early on?
"To be able to walk in as a freshman and to move with his size and his length is incredible. He is a rare blend and finding ways to help him be successful early on is going to be a big task for me and the entire defensive staff because when you have special athletes you have to find a way for them to be able to contribute."
Brad White along with the entire program senses confidence in this team unlike they have seen in the previous years. Even though it is still early on and there is a lot left to be learned all of the coaching staff had high praises for this group of guys and even Brad White said, "I still couldn't even tell you who the eleven starters will be on September the third, but we have 31 days to figure that out."
I was already excited for the start of the season but after attending UK Media Day yesterday I feel even more confident that this could be a very special year for Kentucky Football and for the Big Blue Nation.