By LARRY VAUGHT
Question: What would be your major concern about the Kentucky football program right now?
Jacob Tamme: “Really my biggest concern is I get tired of people becoming negative on a coach or staff so quickly. I don’t think it is happening right now, but I can see the expectation level rising dramatically next year because of this recruiting class. Let’s keep in mind the reality is that all of these good recruits are still going to be freshman next year playing in the SEC East. I want to win as quick as anybody but I think if the team loses some tight games next season we can’t have the fan base going up in arms because the expectation level has changed so dramatically from year one to year two. I think improvement over the next year should definitely be expected, but to ask this staff and team to win eight, nine, 10 games and compete for a championship — that is probably going to take a couple of years at a minimum. I hope they prove me wrong!”
Freddie Maggard: “Obvious, the quarterback play. Jalen Whitlow is on the verge of breaking out if he can stay healthy. Without him, the offense has not been able to threaten defenses. I’d never criticize a player and won’t so let’s say passing game. I’m talking offensive unit as a whole. Defenses are pressing UK’s offense, this is unheard of in the Air Raid offense but at most times, they’re tempting UK to throw the ball downfield. With limited play at quarterback, coach (Neal) Brown is extremely limited on what he can call, and when he can call it.
Anthony White: “My major concern about the program at this very moment is that they have to be prepared to capitalize on the success that the football program is expecting. I hope the fan base the administration and the athletic department is prepared to handle and market the success, if the football program happens to achieve what they expect. and not give them token publicity and coverage do to success being a surprise. I know they talk about having a plan, I hope sufficient and effective when/if we reach big time success.”
Derek Abney: “My major concern would be convincing the players it really is one play, one quarter, and one game at a time; relaying to them that other teams will have their runs but we have stay in the game mentally and with confidence. It can be difficult changing that mentality if a team hasn’t had a lot of winning seasons recently. Fortunately, all indications are Stoops has the character/integrity to convince them of this.”
Andy Murray: “Is that our fan base needs to stick with these guys and believe in what they are doing.”
Dave Hopewell: “Holding our recruiting classes together. Getting the players in here to change the culture and the future of the program and then keeping it at that level for years to come and not just be a flash in the pan for two-three years.”