Looking At A Busy Post Spring Football For Kentucky
Generally the time following spring practice is pretty slow for most football programs. However in Kentucky’s case it has been anything but. From the NFL Draft to surprise departures to new additions a lot has been happening for Mark Stoops and the Cats. We are going to get you caught up as we begin Looking At A Busy Post Spring Football For Kentucky.
No Wildcats Taken In The NFL Draft
For a second straight season no Kentucky player was taken in the NFL Draft. In fact the Cats were one of only eight Power Five teams not to have a player chosen.
The Gophers & Iowa State are 2 of only 8 Power Five schools without a player selected in the 2018 NFL draft. (The others are Baylor, Duke, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Kentucky & Oregon State.) ???
— TwinCities IOWA Club (@TCiowaClub) April 30, 2018
Going back to 2016 Duke, Iowa State and Kentucky are the only teams not to have a player taken in either draft.
However looking to 2019 that will change for the Wildcats. Linebacker Josh Allen ranks as the sixth best prospect in next year’s draft. In addition to Allen, Jordan Jones, C.J. Conrad, Mike Edwards and Benjamin Snell Jr. if he leaves early should all hear their names next season. If all goes as planned the 2019 draft will be the best in Kentucky school history.
A Surprising Departure
One player who won’t be hearing his name called as a Kentucky Wildcat is Denzil Ware. The multi-year starter shocked many by announcing his transfer. In his career the outside linebacker played in 37 games with 156 tackles, 26.5 for loss and 13 sacks. As a graduate transfer Ware is eligible to play immediately. On Friday morning Ware announced he is transferring to Jacksonville State.
Denzil Ware transferring to Jacksonville State for his final season. https://t.co/EqXxkrSN83
— Derek Terry (@DerekSTerry) May 11, 2018
Dubbed the “Blitz Brothers” Ware and Allen decided to return for their senior seasons rather than declare for the draft. As a result defensive coordinator Matt House first priority is finding a replacement. Joshua Paschal, who played outside linebacker last season before moving to the line in 2018, tops the list. In addition to Paschal Boogie Watson or Kengera Daniel will be in the mix.
No matter how you look at it this is a huge blow for Stoops and the Cats. Furthermore this is the second consecutive season an impact player has transferred. Wide receiver Jeff Badet left Lexington and ended up at Oklahoma for the 2017 season.
Two Additions To The Football Staff
Former Wildcat quarterback Freddie Maggard comes aboard as Director of Player Development. Maggard played quarterback from 1988-1991 racking up 2,566 yards during his career. He was a two year starter and ranks No. 15 on Kentucky’s all-time passing list.
Before joining the staff Maggard hosted the pregame show for the UK Sports Network and wrote for Kentucky Sports Radio and also appeared on Hey Kentucky. His new position is similar to one he held for 13 years with the National Guard.
In addition to social media usage Maggard is responsible for helping with character development and community engagement. He will also act as a liaison between former players and the current players and staff.
— Freddie Maggard (@UKPlayerDevelop) May 7, 2018
To many True Blue Fans Maggard is Kentucky football. Stoops couldn’t have found a better person for this job.
The second name coming to Lexington as we continue Looking At A Busy Post Spring Football For Kentucky is E.K. Franks. The former Director of Player Personnel at Florida is the new recruiting coordinator for the Cats. Franks previously served as recruiting director under Bret Bielema at Arkansas. In addition he worked with Smith in Fayetteville.
The hiring of Franks and Smith shows Kentucky is going to try to recruit in areas they never have before. These include Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas which are home to some of the nation’s best players year after year.
In what is usually a quiet time for schools the Wildcat program has been just the opposite. Thanks for Looking At A Busy Post Spring Football For Kentucky with us here as Last Word On College Football.