By LARRY VAUGHT
Ryan Timmons came to Kentucky as a highly-touted player in coach Mark Stoops’ first recruiting class. He had a solid freshman season when he was thrown immediately into action, but the last two years has not been the explosive receiver many expected him to be.
Apparently this spring the senior to be is starting to turn heads.
“I thought he really showed up today. He really showed up and had a really good scrimmage,” Stoops said after Saturday’s scrimmage. “He’s been very good this spring.
“Somebody asked me a week or two ago who’s been the most pleasant surprise, and I’d say he’s definitely one of them. So, I’ll have to make sure I tell him don’t make me regret that. I don’t want to see him take a step back, but he’s really done some good things. He’s shown up well today.”
New offfensive coordinator Eddie Gran is using Timmons at more than one spot this spring to try and find a way to better utilize his skills.
“You want to try to get your best players on the field. And then with our offense, you want to be able to get your right sides guys can play on the left hand side. If we can do that through these 15 practices and they know all the positions, if you got a guy like Timmons that knows both inside positions, then if something happens and somebody gets hurt, then you’re not sitting there going, ‘Gosh almighty, we’re with a guy that may be better sitting on the sideline.’ So that’s what we’re trying to get out of that,” Gran said.
So what is Timmons doing better?
“He’s making the routine plays look routine. We’re throwing the ball over the middle in (run-pass options) and he makes difficult catches in traffic and turning it up and making some yards, but he should do that,” Stoops said.
The UK coach wants receivers to be more competitive, fight harder daliy.
What is Gran trying to get through to his receivers?
“Number one, know what to do. Number two, we got to make sure that they’re competing on every play. We’ve got to be consistent. I keep using that word, but you can’t drop balls,” Gran said. “Thursday’s practice we had probably four or five contested throws on fades and we made four of them. And then today we had a couple of them, so whether that’s a target throw by the quarterback or it’s a jump ball, we got to make those. We just gotta get more consistent at that position and keep competing.”
“It’s concentration, it’s technique, it’s knowing the play and being in the right position. It’s everything when it comes to the receivers concentrating.”