By KEITH PEEL
Since we are in the peak season for college basketball, this sports headline may not have been noticed by many UK fans: ” Another linebacker leaves the Kentucky football program”.
My first response was “what is going on with the football program, that is the third linebacker to transfer this spring?”
Then as I thought more about the situation I realized that players transferring from the program may not be a negative after all. Let me explain.
At most SEC schools competition for two deep positions is fierce. Everyone brings their “A” game in hopes of cracking the starting line up. Historically at UK they rarely have a two deep rotation that fields SEC caliber players.
We see defections from the likes of Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida and others each year. We generally look at those transfers and think that SEC schools are recruiting better players each year.
Unfortunately for previously recruited players at those schools if you don’t perform at a high level, you don’t play. We are now seeing that same scenario occur at UK. As Mark Stoops and company recruit better players each year the guys from previous years either have to step up or get left behind.
Getting left behind either means you sit the bench or transfer. In the case of many of the recent transfers at UK they could see the handwriting on the wall and decided to move on to better opportunities.
In the case of the new UK football program, we wish them well and look forward to the competition in Spring and Fall practice for the remaining players and the newcomers. The bottom line is the transfers are helping themselves and helping the program so it becomes a win-win for everyone.
If we continue to improve as a football program we will inevitability continue to see guys leaving the program. It seems to be the mark of programs that win.