By LARRY VAUGHT
Two more players are staying at Kentucky for their senior year but a popular assistant coach will not be back.
Linebackers Denzil Ware and Jordan Jones both confirmed Thursday that they were staying at UK after there had been some speculation that each might opt to put his name into the NFL draft.
However, coach Mark Stoops announced that receivers coach Lamar Thomas, who left the Louisville staff two years ago to join the Wildcats, would not be back. Thomas’ contract was not extended after the 2016 season and now he’s not being retained even though UK went to bowl games and won seven games each year he was at Kentucky.
“I just met you and was looking forward to getting to know you more,” Lewis Moore, father of UK kicker/punter signee Chance Poore, posted on Twitter.
Lewis Poore said they met on his son’s official visit to UK and “we clicked from the start.”
Thomas posted his own message on Twitter about his departure.
“Our family loves Lexington and all it has to offer,” he posted.
He thanked fans, the players, coach Mark Stoops, UK athletics director Mitch Barnhart and the UK football staff. He also tahnked the “Juice Boyz (UK’s wide receivers) for everything these past two years.”
Then he finished with this:
“We will continue to root for the Wildcats wherever we go. ❤️u all,” Thomas posted on Twitter.
Earlier this week safety Mike Edwards and linebacker Josh Allen, regarded as UK’s best defensive players, both decided to stay at Kentucky for their senior seasons rather than test the NFL draft.
Kentucky will now have 10 starters — linebacker Courtney Love is the only one gone via graduation —back on defense next season.
Jones and Ware both had controversial endings to the season.
Jones got into a skirmish with Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson during UK’s final regular-season home game against Louisville. He also got an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in that game and another one in the bowl game loss to Northwestern.
Ware picked up a plastic garbage can to use during the Louisville sideline skirmish and then was suspended for an off-field incident before the Music City Bowl game.