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Neal Brown on Stanley “Boom” Williams, Blake Bone and Dorian Baker

uk-football yahtzeeBy LARRY VAUGHT

Question: What does he like about running back Stanley ”Boom” Williams and receiver Blake Bone?
Offensive coordinator Neal Brown: “Boom? He is a guy that’s really a perfect fit for our offense. He’s big enough to pick up the blitz. He can run inside and outside. We can use him inside the slot some as well. He’s really, really fast, OK? He has the ability to make people miss in space. He’s really a great get by coach (Bradley Dale) Peveto, to go into Atlanta and a kid who was committed to Georgia for a long time and bring him up. Great family, going to make a big contribution.

“Blake Bone? That was our No. 1 goal in the receiver corps this year. We had to get size and I think if you look at our roster right now of guys that played last year, really we didn’t have anybody over that 6-foot, 6-foot-1 range and everybody can run in this league, but you’ve got to have length. Because regardless of how fast you are, length wins and we felt like we added two guys with great lengths. Coach (Tommy) Mainord went and got one of the top kids out of South Carolina, which is a great testament to him, and he’s a guy who needs to put on some weight, get stronger, but I thought he had two really good all-star showings in the Shrine Bowl and Offensive/Defensive Bowl against some really great opponents. Feel good about him coming in and being able to help us right away.”

Question: Was he surprised UK had a top 25 recruiting class this quickly?
Brown: “I think that’s something that’s been asked a few times in different ways and I’m not overly surprised and this being why. The location we have is really centrally located. You can get to a lot of places within a six-hour radius and I think coach Stoops, he himself is a tremendous recruiter, and he hired a bunch of guys that can really relate to the young guys, the kids we’re recruiting. Has some really good connections and can evaluate and then you add onto that the schematic success that D.J. (Eliot) and Mark had at Florida State and that we’ve been able to have at Texas Tech and Troy and those type of places and then on top of that, all of the things that are going on on campus. We talked about the dorms, you know, our guys are going to be living in brand-new dorms when they get here. That’s a little thing that people think of, but that’s big. Then you have the stadium renovation and the new practice facility.”

Question: What are his thoughts on receiver Dorian Baker?
Brown: “He came to camp here and he was (pause) physically, he looks the part. He’s 6-3, he’s going to be 215-220 pounds when he gets here and basically for this offense, what we’re looking for, is some guys who are really fast who can really beat you over the top. Guys like Jeff Badet. We want some guys who are really solid that are strong, that can kind of do everything, guys like Javess Blue, Thaddeus Snodgrass, once he matures is going to be one of those types of guys.

“And then you want little guys who can make you miss, not real little, but Ryan Timmons type of kids that maybe can play a little running back. And then you want big, physical guys, guys like Alex Montgomery and guys like Dorian Baker that you can play inside or play on the outside and they’re physically imposing. They’re bigger than their nickels or their corners and Dorian’s going to be one of those guys. He’s a guy that I’m really excited about. I think he’s raw right now, but when he really gets honed in on that position and is training year-round to be a great receiver, I think he’s going to have a tremendous career here.”

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  1. Dave Hopewell

    When you recruit over the top of a player/players you have to make the team know and understand that there is opportunity to be shared by everyone and that the ultimate goal is a “National Championship”.

    I’d ask them all the same 3 questions:
    1) Do you want to help us win a national championship/SEC championship?
    2) Can you do it by yourself?
    3) Will you share the responsibilities with others to get it done and help us bring in other players to reach our goals every year?

    Our current players have to buy into this plan or we will be another flash in the pan for a few years and then back to where we have always settled in, 2-3 SEC wins each yr at best. None of us want that. And over time our players will be glad too that it was a “tradition” they actually helped start not just a flash in the pan and bunch of personal accolades for a few individual players.

    I can’t WAIT to play on the 1st Saturday in December for an SEC Championship and then be in the big dance for a “National Championship” one day!

    I’m really proud of this staff for what they are doing and what they are bringing in to help us reach those goals.

    Go Cats!

    I believe our football staff understands this. I just hope the UK Administration and AD’s office will answer these same questions like this 5 years from now. $155 million into a program that will bring in double that over the same time frame seems like a good investment to me! $155 million is a good place to start and I am sure proud they have finally done it. Wouldn’t it be nice to be invited to Dallas for an opening game too? Traditional teams get invited to those type games. What say you to our athletic department on that?

    1. Love SEC F-Ball

      Dave, I agree with your comments. All players and recruits should understand and buy into your recruiting philosophy.

      And $155 Million is a great place to start. The first $100 Million is HUGE because it gets us off of square one. But I do think that it is a MISTAKE to reduce seating when you “Make Improvements” to “OUR” stadium. A reduction in seating is not an improvement. We are in the SEC!
      Don’t get me wrong -I am ecstatic that improvements are being made.
      We are just about one half a Billion $ behind (Give or take a $100 Million).

  2. Andy

    Any word on Rashad Cunningham? Is he academically eligible now? Him being 6″4 would give us another tall receiver.

    1. larryvaught

      Andy, I have not heard his name even mentioned. To be honest, I forgot about him. Will try to check

  3. Little Baron

    I watched Boom Williams score over and over and virtually single-handedly lead his team to a victory over a good defensive HS team this past season. He ran inside, outside… could do it all, and all of a sudden he was running out ahead of everyone headed for the end zone.

    It is imperative that this staff play a PASSING QB so that the outstanding running backs already on the team and the new ones coming in, can have a balanced offense to play in. Otherwise, the D will again lie in wait for our runners, knowing that our passing game is not a real threat. I believe our future recruiting will be impacted by the offensive style Brown and Stoops present this year. If another lackluster 3 and out series after series is our offense because we refuse to have a passing QB, then we will start to see it affect our recruiting, which has been very successful for two seasons.

    1. Carter

      You called it LB.
      I just watched Boom Williams’ highlight video and like you said… “he ran inside, outside… could do it all, and all of a sudden he was running out ahead of everyone headed for the end zone.” Unreal… the way he threaded his way though the defense was almost instinctual. Slid by defenders like they were in slow motion.

      I think the coaching staff found themselves faced with any number of challenges when trying to effectively fill the QB slot last year… the early season injury to Smith, then Whitlow banged up early and way too often, then Smith’s shoulder, then Whitlow’s leg, had a tough time keeping running backs healthy, young inexperienced receivers were forced to learn on the job while an O-line constantly hampered by injury never did seem to gel.

      Things are different this year and I too think we’ll see Phillips or Barker at the helm come September.

      1. Little Baron

        Glad you got to see him, too. Your description of his running is excellent and brought back flashes of his amazing running that I got to see. He was like greased lightening.

  4. Ira

    I knew Boom Williams was a good recruit, but I normally don’t pay attention to the stories of hey this guy ran a time 4.3 etc. most NFL guys don’t. But when I watched his first step it was amazing. He’d take one step and Boom fully accelerate to full speed by his second step. His film is great. This is a guy I can’t wait to see this spring.


    I’m with you on the QB situation. It has to clear up. I think actually we could struggle the 2015 season and still have one last really good year recruiting, but 2016 kids wouldn’t buy what was being sold. We need either Phillips or Barker to take the reigns and run with it. As a preference I prefer Phillips.

    As far as Phillips being my choice, the reason being, from last yr’s spring game, the young man was accurate. Had a soft touch. Now with that being said, I’m sure Neal Brown at that time didn’t give him the most difficult plays to execute nor was he facing the 1’s on D, but he looked good. Better than the rest actually.

    My other reason, 2 actually, has had 1 spring game under his belt, had one whole season to learn the offensive play book under Brown, will be completing a 2nd spring game, plus had matured enough last year per the coaches by the end of the season if not for the RS he was considered 2 on the depth chart and they may have started him as well if it hadn’t been at the end of season. That tells me at least there was true progress from 1 QB.

    Under Barker gas the skills but we get all the True freshmen mistakes. Doesn’t know the play book yet, won’t know enough by time season starts compared to Phillips. I’d rather start Barker out on a RS and if Phillips just bust out there then bring him in.

    1. Carter

      Agreed on all counts, save perhaps one.
      Drew Barker continues to surprise. I wouldn’t count him out.

  5. Juan4UK

    (In addition to someone who can deliver the ball consistently) I am just hoping to have receivers who can catch the ball. Don’t car about length, speed, or nothing else. Not how the look or anything. Just catch a ball when it hits the hands.

    Now, I will say this: It isn’t fair to put current or recent guys can’t catch because that absolute fact is that any pass delivered anywhere near the chest, the hands, the head or within reach will most definitely be a complete and utter SHOCK to anyone on our team who might be designated to catch a pass. -anybody can make of that what they will, I stand by it.
    It just seems like its been so very long since we have been able to count on a pass completion of any kind.

    1. Juan4UK

      …no matter who’s at fault……

  6. Little Baron

    You are one of the premier football posters on VV, along with a few others… add in the savvy of the Professor’s analysis and VV provides one of the most informative sites with some sound observations & projections. Larry gives us the cream of the crop by selecting relevant & up-to-date articles.

    I am not as keen about football as (I think I am about :) ) basketball. Nevertheless, even an amateur rookie football fan can see that last year was a flop.

    I believe if Brown & Stoops will open up the offense and pass the ball, go with the offense that we are looking for… Then the W-L will not be viewed without some tolerance for mistakes. Move the ball some, move the chains and even if we lose there will be more patience just to see an offense on the field, which will also translate into more rest do the D on the sideline. Eliminate so many consecutive 3 and outs is A great first step. Recruits need to see progress and feel that their addition to the team will result in more progress. A repeat of last season which was a continuation

  7. Little Baron

    Receivers (or should we say pretend receivers) made our passing Maxwell Smith look bad, and as a result his errant passes got even more scrutiny. I agree we need the complete package – passer who can paaa AND receiver who can catch! That means we also need the OL that Ira, you & others have been harping about needing all last year. I believe the running backs will shine this year we move away from the chjoker ground game.

  8. Little Baron

    Love SEC F-Ball says:
    “…. But I do think that it is a MISTAKE to reduce seating when you “Make Improvements” to “OUR” stadium. A reduction in seating is not an improvement. We are in the SEC!
    Don’t get me wrong -I am ecstatic that improvements are being made.
    We are just about one half a Billion $ behind (Give or take a $100 Million).”

    I AGREE that it is ridiculous to spend such an enormous amount of money and not increase the seating at Commonwealth Stadium (and likewise at Rupp Arena). The unthinkable is to REDUCE the seating, and that is what some with a lack of any real foresight are doing.

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