Most Recent Posts
- What role did Drew Barker’s mother play in his athletic development?
- Calipari will be keynote speaker at Iba Awards June 3 in Tulsa
- D.J. Eliot understands coach Mark Stoops “very well” can bring new ideas to UK defense
- Swiss Cat Part 2: Larry continues his adventure in Switzerland
- Brumbaugh understands junior college talent, feels he can bring JUCO players to UK
- Volleyball training, personality will both help Marcus Lee at Kentucky
- UK coach Mark Stoops was patient with Neal Brown because he was “all-in” on hiring him
- UK signee Marcus Lee overcame early education struggles to succeed in academics, athletics
By LARRY VAUGHT
LaRod King, who only caught 10 passes the entire 2009 season, had a preseason scare when he hurt his neck and missed more than a week of practice.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“It is a little hard to put it out of yourÃ‚Â mind. Am I concerned? Yes, I am concerned a little bit, but at the same time when I get on the field, nothing else can matter,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I have to forget I was ever injured. I forget all that.Ã‚Â I am all about winning and helping my team. If I have to sacrifice myself, I will do it. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s just the way it is.Ã¢â‚¬Â
He says competition among KentuckyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s receivers to be the best has helped them all improve.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“If Chris (Matthews) is running 100 percent and I am only running 90, I am going to push harder. Randall (Cobb) is the hardest working guy I have ever seen,Ã¢â‚¬Â King said. Working with them, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s like being with (Michael) Jordan. Randall and Chris are Jordan and we are the rest of the players. They help each person out, even the walk-ons. They work with them after practice. We all work to get better.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“It is a tremendous change from last year. For me, it was more of a learning process. I was just sitting back and kind of watching Chris and Randall and seeing where the team was going. At the same time, our attitude was horrible last year. It was more, Ã¢â‚¬ËœOK, I think we are going to win this game. We should win this game.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ We came out and played to our competition rather than playing up to our level. This year (strength) coach Rock (Oliver) came and showed us what it means to be a team, and it has made a huge difference.Ã¢â‚¬Â
King is glad the Kentucky coaches now trust his blocking more, too. He remembers last season when that was not true and he knew that coach Joker Phillips and even the UK quarterbacks did not trust his blocking.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I am not surprised with my blocking. Coach Joker works on that every day. If you canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t block, you canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t play. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the rule here and I understand that,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I am more focused now and know what to do. (Receivers) Coach Tee Martin has my fundamentals down and coach Joker knows what he is doing as head coach and that gives confidence to the offense. You have to lay it all on the line to win, and we are doing that. It gives me that confidence to go out there and play 100 percent and know if I make a mistake somebody will be back me up and go just as hard as me.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Martin says King has worked to make himself better.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“He wants to be better, and that is driving him to get better,Ã¢â‚¬Â Martin said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“He works his hardest every day. He understands what he does not do well, and works to correct that. When you have that kind of attitude, then you get better.Ã¢â‚¬Â