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Kentucky Football Players and Parents Publicly Voice Frustration on the Program

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Frustration is high around the Kentucky football program following a loss to South Carolina
UK Athletics

Mark Stoops has brought Kentucky football to new heights that it had not ever seen before. Kentucky recorded two 10-win seasons in the span of four years under Stoops from 2018 to 2021, something that had not been done since 1977. However, after going 7-6 last year in disappointing fashion, the BBN wanted to see Stoops get things turned around. That hasn’t happened, and now there are many people upset about the direction of the program.

Parents of Current Players

It was no secret that a ton of Kentucky’s key players struggled in Saturday’s loss. After all, that’s how you lose games, from not playing well. However, star RB Ray Davis’ lack of production wasn’t a means of struggling necessarily, but he had a lack of touches against South Carolina. Davis’ father, Raymond, commented on the issue as well, saying, “One of the best running backs in the country w 12 carries crazy.”

In addition, Donte Key, the father of Dane Key, expressed his own thoughts on X during the game. His statement was simple, saying, “This is f******* awful!” Despite Dane having four receptions for 51 yards, his father had to talk about the elephant in the room. Unfortunately, the parent frustration doesn’t end there.

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Anonymously, a parent of a former player talked with KY Insider, and they had some pretty damning things to say about the UK football program. “Seems like the last two years there’s been a lack of grit and toughness that was kind of their calling card the previous 4 or 5 years,” the parent said. A lot of people are upset about the program, even from within.

Former Players

Yup, even some of Stoops’ former players aren’t happy with him and the direction the program is taking. The former Ole Miss turned UK LB Jacquez Jones was one of the players most upset with what he was watching. Jones also kept his feelings comprised in a simple post.

Then, one of the best to put on the Kentucky uniform under Stoops also let his voice be heard. Current LA Rams LB DeAndre Square also took his frustrations to X/Twitter on Saturday night. Square posted, “We gotta get our fight back .. idk where we lost it but we gotta get it back #BBN.” It would be nice to have some of the veteran leadership that Jones and Square brought to the team.

Ray Davis and Dane Key

Aaaaaaaand last, but certainly not least: Ray Davis. Just like his father, Davis was also frustrated with his lack of touches against South Carolina. After being one of the best running backs in the SEC all season long, Stoops and Coen went away from their fifth-year star. On X, Davis said, “it is what it is. Thought I was the bell cow”.

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Davis has only gotten 172 carries this season compared to 232 as a Commodore last year. Despite having 990 yards on the ground and 17 total touchdowns, Kentucky went away from Davis during the most critical time of the season. Only Stoops and Coen can answer why, but it’s easy to see why Davis (and his father) aren’t happy.

He is not the only current player to make their frustration public either. While not publishing his own post, star wide receiver Dane Key liked a tweet from his brother that said “Free 6.”


Stoops brought back Liam Coen who was the OC in 2021’s 10-3 season. He brought in the No. 1 ranked QB in the transfer portal. He brought in RB Ray Davis, who set numerous records at Vanderbilt. Barion Brown, Dane Key, and Deone Walker all came back. All of those things happened, but Kentucky is just 6-5 coming off of a 21-14 loss to a now 5-6 South Carolina team.

The regression is apparent and because of that, there are A LOT of folks frustrated around the program.

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Four-Star Safety, Top 200 Recruit Martels Carter Jr. Commits to Kentucky

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2025 Four-star safety Martels Carter Jr commits to Kentucky Wildcats over Auburn, Colorado, and Louisville.
UK Athletics

YAHTZEE!

The Kentucky Wildcats have added the top-ranked player in the state and one of the top safeties in the country to their 2025 recruiting class.

On Saturday, Martels Carter Jr. announced his commitment to the Wildcats!

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“BBN I’M HOME”

A unanimous 4-star prospect and top 20 safety nationally, Carter chose the Cats over finalists Auburn Tigers, Colorado Buffalo, and Louisville. He also held offers from some of the biggest programs in the sport, including Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, and Oregon among others.

Originally from Chattanooga, TN, Carter moved to Paducah last summer where he starred for Paducah Tilghman High School, helping them to an undefeated regular season and a deep run in the 4A state playoffs, falling in the semifinals.

While it’s okay to celebrate his commitment, it will still be a battle until signing day. Auburn is seen as Kentucky’s biggest threat with Carter planning multiple visits, and he also has a family connection to Deion Sander’s Colorado program.

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That said, he will almost certainly take an official visit to Kentucky this fall. Vince Marrow has made Carter a priority of this class and will do everything in his power to retain the talented defensive back.

Carter makes the sixth commitment for Kentucky’s 2025 class, to go along with two talented offensive players and fellow four-star recruits Quintin Simmons Jr (WR) and Marquise Davis (RB).

Also published on A Sea of Blue.

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REPORT: Liam Coen Leaving Kentucky for NFL Offensive Coordinator Position

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UK Athletics

On the eve of a huge recruiting weekend for Kentucky football, the program has received some bad news. Offensive coordinator Liam Coen is leaving for the NFL again, this time taking the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator position.

When Coen returned to Kentucky last offseason from the Los Angeles Rams, for his second stint as offensive coordinator, he talked about Lexington being a place that he and his wife had missed. In his return press conference, on January 12, 2023, he went as far as saying he wanted to be somewhere for a “few years”, at least.

“I want to go somewhere, make a real impact. Plant some roots for a little bit. Be somewhere for a few years — at least — that you feel really good about. I’m excited about being back in Lexington… I’m not in a rush to go anywhere.”

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That “few years” was just a year, but to be honest, it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. After many games last season, Coen talked to the media with frustration about fundamental things such as lack of discipline and dropped passes. Even then, it always felt he was holding his words back. With his name circulating around multiple NFL jobs, it was clear this was the direction it was heading.

Now for Kentucky, it’s about getting the next hire right. In a time where offense is becoming the premium in college football, going through five offensive coordinators in ten seasons is not ideal. Paying $1.8 million to Coen, they have shown they will pay amongst the top in the country. Now, go get someone who keeps this core of offensive talent, can recruit, and brings much-needed consistency.

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A Piece of Will Levis’ Historic NFL Debut Displayed in NFL Hall of Fame

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Tennessee Titans quarterback Will Levis after his NFL debut.
© Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK

During last year’s NFL Draft, Will Levis was one of the last players left in the green room after dropping to the second round. That moment fueled Levis, and he’s since earned the starting quarterback spot with the Tennessee Titans, appearing to have a bright future with the team.

Entering the season with no shortage of motivation, Levis entered the franchise as QB3 and wasn’t even on the active roster for the first six weeks of the season, being deemed the “emergency quarterback.” However, following an ankle injury to Ryan Tannehill in Week 6, the Titans gave their rookie quarterback an opportunity.

Levis certainly capitalized and had one of the best debuts in NFL History, throwing for 238 yards (19/29 passing) and four touchdowns. From the game, Levis has been put in the Hall of Fame. Well, at least his Houston Oiler throwback helmet from the performance has been placed on display in the Hall of Fame’s “Pro Football Today Gallery.”

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Levis started his career with a bang and had his moments. The former Kentucky Wildcat will look to build on his rookie campaign, going into a year where he should be the starter under new head coach Brian Callahan.

Also published on A Sea of Blue.

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