By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky’s offensive linemen not only lost a starter when Cole Mosier went down with a season-ending knee injury Saturday, but they also lost a friend.
“He is a solid player and very good role model for me. Losing him during his last season is really hard,” said sophomore Landon Young, the player expected to now be UK’s starting left tackle. He actually had more snaps at left tackle than Mosier last year because Mosier missed some games with injuries.
Redshirt freshman Drake Jackson said Tuesday that Mosier, a former walk-on who earned both a scholarship and starting spot, was one of the “friendliest” players on the team. When Mosier went down, Jackson said teammates ran on the field to help him.
“There were tears in the OL room when we got the news (he was out for the season),” Jackson said. “We all looked up to him. He was a role model for young guys. They all looked up to him. It really hurts.”
Kyle Meadows, the starting right tackle, came to UK the same year as Mosier.
“He worked his ass off and this hurts so bad. We can fill the spot but you can never change the character that Cole really brought. Not the energy. We feel good about having Landon in there but it still sucks to see a brother go down.”
Offensive line coach John Schlarman understands how his players feel. He’s hurting, too.
“That guy gave a lot to this program. He is first class on and off the field. Everybody is down for him but they also know they have got to rally. Some guys have got to pull their weight more. Everybody has to elevate their game. But we have options,” Schlarman said Tuesday.
“The thing Cole brought was consistency. Not real flashy but he always did his job. He was a guy you could just always count on.”