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By LARRY VAUGHT
Current Denver Broncos tight end Jacob Tamme never played on the same team as Neal Brown at Boyle County High School, but that doesn’t mean UK’s new offensive coordinator didn’t have an impact on Tamme.
“Neal definitely influenced my career. When I was in middle school and Neal was in high school he was the guy I looked up to and aspired to be,” said Tamme, a former all-Southeastern Conference tight end at UK. “He was the star wide receiver and got a chance to go to UK and that is all I really wanted, so I certainly looked up to Neal.
“Now that we’re a bit older you realize we’re not really that far apart in age, but back then it sure seemed like it.”
Tamme said it was “very wild” to him the last few weeks when Brown’s name surfaced as a potential offensive coordinator at UK after Joker Phillips, Tamme’s offensive coordinator at UK, was fired. Tamme’s high school coach, Chuck Smith, also lost his job as Kentucky’s linebackers coach.
“The previous staff with so many connections leaving, and now a new staff coming in and you wonder if it will even have Kentucky connections and now not only does it look like it will have several Kentucky connections but we have another Boyle County guy and he’ll be calling the plays on offense. I think it’s great,” Tamme said.
“I have followed Neal’s career and I know he’s had success everywhere he has been. I think his offense will bring new energy and excitement to the players and to the fan base.”
Tamme was impressed with Brown’s work as offensive coordinator at both Troy and Texas Tech and believes he’ll help new coach Mark Stoops get UK back on the winning track.
“It’s all very neat to me. Neal has done some big things in the coaching world at a young age (32), and here’s hoping the best is yet to come and that by coming here Neal can help get the ship righted at Kentucky and continue to progress as a coach,” Tamme said.