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By Lee Ann Herring-Olvedo
The bar for UK football especially on the offense is not looking to be set to high for the on lookers looking in. However, that’s not what this O-line is worried about. Rising above mediocrity or anything less than that just never falls into ones lap; rather it stems from a dream and a desire combined with work. It’s never easy to reach success or embark on rebuilding what is missing to make a team press on forward, but if anything else when true credence and hard work function hand in hand the result often is a force to be reckoned with. After all, as the saying goes vision without action is like gold with the earth; it is of no value until it’s mined out.
Don’t get me wrong I love that the SEC conference is a powerhouse when it comes to defense. I still have a lot to learn on that side of the ball but that just makes my job all the more worthwhile. Yes, I do secretly admit thought that I am happy to see Mizzou & A&M in the SEC so I can get a dose of that spread offense I have missed from my Big 12 and Texas roots.
In the SEC those defenses are going to give you a run for your money to say the least for 4 quarters that’s no question and I know that despite the youth on the O-Line for the Cats. Down the road they will be very pleased to have Jack Gruenschlaeger take the cats into the next generation of offensive football. You can’t miss this 6-11, 339-pound ginger. I know the first time I saw this kid’s frame I knew this kid was born to be a lineman and be a tackle. He like many young freshman on this Cats squad have a lot to learn and have a long way to go. However, it goes to show that hard work does pay off as Joker has mentioned that down the road Jack will make an impact on the line and not mention the move up the depth chart in the 2nd slot is not bad a jump from spring practice.
Here’s what Gruenschlaeger has to say about the O-lines Fall Campaign.
What do you believe has been one of the biggest obstacles to overcome on the O-line since the spring?
Gruenschlaeger: I think the hardest thing we’ve had to overcome is like gelling together because we lost three guys who played for a while that were returning starters so we had to get that cohesive unit back together. So I say that’s probably been the hardest thing to work on.
What is the biggest challenge that you see in the next 17 days that will be the challenge going in to Louisville?
Gruenschlaeger: I think just pushing through the daily grind of camp and just everyday working to get better and not taking days off and everybody going out there and doing their job.
Clearly starting in the spring you were lower on the depth chart but now in a few shorts months you have climbed your way into the second team. What have you done personally to be able to work your way up the depth chart?
Gruenschlaeger: In the summer I just really went after it trying to lose some weight and coach pushing me in the weight room and me just pushing myself as hard as I could go.
Despite what the critics have to say about where Kentucky will become the wins and the losses, what do you is think is the mentality that really gels this team on both sides of the ball that makes the team press forward and want to prove people wrong?
Gruenschlaeger: I mean one thing I have heard… we’ve went to five straight bowl games and it’s like somebody compared it to school if you get five good grades on exams and then the next exam you do poorly on then you refocus and your realize you kind of just can’t skate thru it and you actually have to put in the work and it’s not just given to you.
Is there anything that you do going in to practice or a game that turns on sort of a “beast mode” that makes you play fierce on the field and drives you?
Gruenschlaeger: For me what drives me is people telling me I can’t do something. When someone says I can’t do this I just want to go out there and prove them wrong.
Any last remarks you would like to share with are readers on the upcoming season?
Gruenschlaeger: I think we will surprise some people!
It would be grand if we could have that dynamic UK football team that would win championships overnight. However, reality check here. We can’t fulfill success or destiny on the whims of just theory it takes work and it takes actions to rise above. You have to take your assets and put them into action. Even in the youth of this team their work ethic and desire to achieve success the good ole fashion way is far beyond their years. There is not one guaranteed formula that can assure success for any team year in and year out.
As Jack said you can’t just skate thru things or get buy you have to earn and work for it to achieve that greatness to reap the rewards down the road. As most of you probably know Larry is an avid runner as am I. Often people ask me how I run for speed and distance. I always say I condition myself for the long haul I am not much of a sprinter as I am a distance runner. That’s what separates people those who train for the immediate results and those who train for that and beyond.