By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky will likely resume practice for the TaxSlayer Bowl either Thursday or Friday after final exams are finished. The Cats practiced twice last week.
The early practices give coach Mark Stoops and his staff a chance to evaluate players who are being redshirted. On offense, lineman Drake Jackson and running back A.J. Rose were two players Stoops wanted to watch. On defense, coordinator D.J. Eliot says he likes what he has seen from Kordell Looney, Jamar Watson and Davonte Robinson.
“A lot of those young guys stand out to me,” Eliot said.
Stoops said it is a big advantage for next season to get a closer look know at how the redshirt freshmen have progressed.
“When we work them throughout the year they’re simulating the other team’s offense or defense, and then when we scrimmage it’s really basics, which we want to see who can play and do the basics when we work them throughout the year,” Stoops said.
“Then as you get into this preparation, it’s good to push them a little bit, see who mentally can handle things. Obviously fundamentals and just seeing who could get off blocks and who can make tackles and all those things, but I think you can push them forward in this bowl prep just as far as some pressures and being multiple with the pressure that you put them under.
“So they have to execute and you just see who can respond and who can pick things up. So it’s a real benefit that way.”