By LARRY VAUGHT
Back when Larry Warford played for Madison Central, offensive line coach Mark Scenters had a unique, but effective, way of motivating his star lineman — a Wendy’s Baconator.
“We used to have a running deal that if any lineman graded out well and played really well, it would result in him getting a big burger,” said Scenters, now the head coach at Garrard County. “He got a few for sure, and probably deserved more than I could afford. At least now he shouldn’t have to worry about how many he buys. Maybe he’ll be smart and just get a franchise.”
Warford, an All-American guard at Kentucky, was picked in the third round — 65th overall pick — by the Detroit Lions in last week’s NFL draft.
Warford admitted last week that he wished he had listened to Scenters and head coach Kenny Turner more when he was at Madison Central.
“I wish I would have listened to them a little bit more, it would have made my life a lot easier as a freshman. Coming in and doing the conditioning test, it just woke me up that I needed to do something about my conditioning when I first got here,” Warford said. “If I would have listened to them and ran a little more I wouldn’t have been hurting as much. It would have been a much easier transition for me if I would have listened a little more.”
He says he still has phone numbers for both coaches — and even joked that he wanted another Baconator from Scenters.
“They are my friends. I love them, they have been supportive of me throughout my career and been keeping in touch with me. I will keep in touch with them when I get into the league,” Warford said.
Scenters definitely will stay in touch. He says he would like to have Warford come to Garrard to interact with his players.
“He has been so busy at UK that I hated to disturb him and even ask,” the Garrard coach said. “I also did not want to take any chances with his eligibility and put him in a situation where me might have inadvertently violated a rule. Perhaps now his schedule will work out so he can get over here. I would love to have him for our youth football camp. Maybe the guy in charge (Scenters) can adjust the camp date to work that out.”
Scenters feels former UK offensive line coach Mike Summers helped Warford reach his lofty status.
“I think coach Summers was one of the best things ever to happen to him,” Scenters said. “He’s almost like a professor of line play. I have seen guys that are loud and intense and scream a lot when they teach. Coach Summers was a technician. He taught Larry so much over the year and technique-wise, Larry didn’t make many mistakes thanks to him. Larry will listen and take to heart what you teach him. He always knew how to use his body. All that has contributed to what he is today.”
While Warford is easy-going off the field, Scenters believes his on-field personality is what helps make him special and destined for NFL success.
“When he steps on the field, he goes into a different realm. He has the ability to be special like the good ones do. He changes his mindset on the field,” Scenters said. “He goes to battle. He was that way in practice. He has a great work ethic. I loved his workman-like mentality. When he came to practice, he was ready to work and do what we told him. He’s improved so much over the years because he was willing to listen and work. I couldn’t be prouder of him.”