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By LARRY VAUGHT

Jason Hatcher and James Quick were teammates on powerful Louisville Trinity teams and two of Kentucky’s best players their junior and senior seasons.
Now they will be opponents Saturday when Kentucky hosts Louisville. Hatcher is a defensive end at UK and Quick, Kentucky’s 2012 Mr. Football, is a receiver at Louisville.

“I probably won’t talk to him this week,” said Hatcher, who was recruited by Louisville just like Quick was recruited by Kentucky. “I might give him a good luck text (message). We do talk when I get home. We might meet up or something. It’s going to be a good game, but I don’t think we will be talking until after the game.”

Hatcher shared these other thoughts going into Saturday’s rivalry game.

Question: How did it feel to get your first win at Kentucky against Miami (Ohio)?
Hatcher: “It was a great feeling. It was a lot of hard work to win it. We had a lot of corrections to make from last week and came out with a lot of energy and focus. Just a lot more wins to come.”

Question: How much does it help when the team plays with more energy like it did against Miami?
Hatcher: “People just did their job and played assignment football like we needed to do.”

Question: What will the game with Louisville be like for you?
Hatcher: “Obviously it is going to be a big deal with my connections to home rivalry and my relationship with some of the people on the team. But at the same time, it is just going to be another game. We have to go out there … we are going to prepare all week in practice and give it our all.”

Question: Is your family red, blue, split between red and blue?
Hatcher: “It depends on which part you ask. You know what I mean? But for the most part, my family is Kentucky.”

Question: Is that because you are at UK now or has it always been that way?
Hatcher: “Yes, because I am here.”

Question: How would you have answered before you signed with Kentucky?
Hatcher: “I would have been like we have a red and white basement.”

Question: Does that make this week fun or painful for your family?
Hatcher: “It is fun. It is all between the lines. Outside those lines, I still have good relationships with those guys. But inside those lines, we are going to get after it. But this is home. They are coming into our backyard, so we will have that on edge. It’s a tough week.”

Question: Do you know a lot of Louisville’s older players because of the way Louisville recruited you for so long?
Hatcher: “Yes, I do. They have some great guys and a lot of depth. It will be a great game. I know a lot of the younger guys and the staff, too. We just have to prepare for a great team over there.”

Question: Do you see with the younger players here a lot better times ahead for UK like what Louisville is enjoying now?
Hatcher: “Most definitely. We have a lot of good young guys on offense and defense. Our offensive guys are explosive and we have freshman playing on defense like Blake McClain. And myself.”

Question: Are you learning a lot backing up Bud Dupree and Za’Darius Smith?
Hatcher: “Oh yeah. I know a learn from Bud every day in practice, and Z as well because I played both sides. Bud is more of an athlete and Z is the technician of the defense. I get both sides of it.”

3 Responses to Jason Hatcher had “red and white” basement at home but he’s all Kentucky blue now

  • Larry Pup says:

    This was a great interview. I’m very glad Jason is a “Wildcat.” Yes, it is best to do your talking after the game. Nobody is giving UK a chance in this game. GO CATS!!!!

  • Jim Harris says:

    Wouldn’t it be nice if fans could be as sensible as Hatcher and Quick–go at it balls out during game weeks and then be friends and tolerant of each other the test of the year? IMO, deep hatred should have no place in sports, period.

    • Larry Pup says:

      Jim you are right on this subject, no doubt. However, I’m one who dislikes Louisville with a passion. I just can’t help it. I have been that way most of my life, and I grew up in Louisville. I would not call it hatred for individuals so much, for I have good friends who are Cardinals through and through, and we are enemies only on game day. It is just a passion that the rivalry brings out. Back years ago when UK wouldn’t schedule Louisville for good reason, the Louisville fans, and particularly the C-J, made such a fuss over this. They said some pretty bad things about UK in those days. UK had John Ray, and Louisville has the loud mouthed Corso. If you want to know the truth, UK put Louisville on the map when we they started scheduling them IMO. Louisville always played a pansy football schedule, and UK became the biggest game on their schedule. UK on the other hand had to battle in the SEC week after week. Since the rivalry has resumed, I think Louisville has an 11 to 8 record against UK in football. See why I don’t care for them? I am real hopeful UK and Coach Stoops can get this rivalry back in UK’s favor. That is where it belongs.

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