By LARRY VAUGHT
LOUISVILLE — He knows the state well, but that doesn’t mean Neal Brown didn’t relish an opportunity to spend most of Friday in Louisville.
The new Kentucky offensive coordinator along with head coach Mark Stoops and defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot made an appearance on a live radio broadcast attended by hundreds of UK fans, met with former UK players and then spoke to a crowd of more than 800 at the Jefferson County UK alumni luncheon.
“There’s a lot of good high school being played in this city. This is the biggest media market. Obviously, we want to make our presence (known). Obviously, we’ve got a rival here. We want to get in this area and make some noise,” said Brown.
“All of these luncheons and charity events we’ve done this summer have been great turnouts. Fans are very excited. It’s big to get into the biggest media market in the state.
The Jefferson County Alumni for them to show up in record numbers gives you a lot of energy, to go back and tell our guys about the enthusiasm.”
However, that enthusiasm comes with a price — likely unrealistic fan expectations for a team that finished 2-10 last year and likely will be short on depth and talent at many positions.
“I think there’s heat all the time. It’s good. It’s a lot better than nobody caring, I’ll tell you that,” Brown said. “The interest level is high. The fan base has an understanding of where we are at. It’s going to be a process and there’s going to be some stepping stones and some building blocks in this process. The product we’re going to put on the field, they’re going to be proud of. The kids are going to work hard. We’re going to be exciting to watch on offense.”