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Kentucky Running Back Ramon Jefferson Granted Seventh Year of Eligibility

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© By Pat McDonogh / USA TODAY NETWORK

Kentucky football received some great news earlier this week as it was announced that running back Ramon Jefferson was granted a seventh year of eligibility after tearing his ACL in last year’s season opener.

With a close connection to Liam Coen, Jefferson was added to the roster prior to the 2022 season to add more depth at the running back position. With Kentucky’s top running option, Chris Rodriguez Jr. suspended for the first four games of the year, many expected Jefferson to play a significant role. Unfortunately, that never happened due to his injury.

With everything a “go”, Jefferson will look to return to the field and prove his value on the field alongside Coen.

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Prior to arriving at Kentucky, Jefferson had stints at Maine (2017-18), Garden City Community College (2019), and most recently, Sam Houston State (2020-21). In his time with Sam Houston State, Jefferson rushed for 1,155 yards and 13 touchdowns and earned All-American Honors while also helping lead his team to the FCS Championship in 2020.

Losing Chris Rodriguez, who entered the NFL Draft, and Kavosiey Smoke, who recently transferred, the Wildcats will have some new faces in the backfield alongside Jefferson.

The most prominent of those will be Ray Davis from Vanderbilt, who was considered to be one of the best backs in the transfer portal. They have also added Jamarion Wilcox, who was ranked as the 10th best back in the 2023 class according to Rivals.

With the incoming players mentioned above, and the return of Jefferson, JuTahn McClain, La’Vell Wright, and Dee Beckwith, Kentucky should have great depth again in its running back room. With that talent behind an improved offensive line, the Wildcats should find success in the running game.

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LOOK: Photos of Kentucky Football Facility Renovations, New Kroger Field Turf

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UK Athletics

Plans for Nutter Field House renovation, new field Kroger turf and track facility

The Nutter Field House, which currently features an indoor practice football field and an indoor track, will be renovated in the near future. The facility will transition into a full-blown practice football facility, with the indoor track being moved to the Jim Green Indoor Track and Field Facility, which is currently being constructed for a cost of $20 million.

Constructed in 1992, Nutter Field House’s football field has been surrounded by a 290-meter track. As a result, the size of the end zones are nearly 10 yards shorter than the regulation size.

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This has forced receivers and other skill players to make sudden and irregular changes in motion in order to prevent them from running onto the track. The design flaw’s potential for injuries and even damage to the track have been apparent for decades.

These issues have frustrated Mark Stoops, who expressed his relief last week with the media when talking about the new $5 million renovation that was announced in 2022. “I think it’s going to help us all, number one, with the function, being able to practice in here,” Stoops said.

Stoops added on, saying, “Just to be able to function and have the room and the space, it’s going to really help us. And obviously, cosmetically it’ll look a lot better and nicer. We’re really excited about that.”

Another exciting update for the Kentucky program is the new turf for both Nutter Field House and Kroger Field, with a total cost of $1.8 million.

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Below are renderings of Nutter Field House, Kroger Field turf, and the outside of the Jim Green Indoor Track and Field Facility. Check them out!

Photo Courtesy of UK Athletics
Photo Courtesy of UK Athletics
Photo Courtesy of UK Athletics
Photo Courtesy of UK Athletics
Photo Courtesy of UK Athletics

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Vito Tisdale Dismissed from Kentucky Football Team for “Violation of Team Rules”

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Jacob Noger | UK Football

Vito Tisdale committed to Kentucky in 2020 as a four-star safety, pledging to play for Wildcats over Alabama, Georgia, and LSU among others during the All-American game on NBC. A Bowling Green native and the son of Nappy Roots’ ‘Big V,’ Tisdale arrived in Lexington with high expectations.

As a freshman, Tisdale played the role of a playmaker on special teams, totaling 20 tackles. Entering his sophomore season, he was expected to take another step but was suspended for preseason training camp and the first month of the 2021 season for an off-campus fight with a fraternity, which resulted in charges for six Kentucky football players.

Tisdale was ultimately cleared of his charges and returned to the field to tally 21 tackles, including 1.5 for loss, on the season. This season would end up being his playing on the field for Kentucky.

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In the opening days of 2022 spring practice, Tisdale suffered a season-ending ACL tear. After undergoing surgery and months of rehab, Tisalde was expected to be available for spring practice this week. Instead, his time at Kentucky is over.

On Tuesday afternoon, Kentucky football announced via Twitter that Tisdale was dismissed from the team for a “violation of team rules,” with no further comment.

In a since-deleted tweet, Tisdale confirmed that he is longer part of the team and showed appreciation for his time at Kentucky.

This loss will have an impact on the Wildcats, as they lose a talented defensive back, which also hurts depth. Fortunately, the Wildcats have proven players that are capable of filling that spot: Alex Afari, Zion Childress, and Andru Phillips.

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Mark Stoops Gives Promising Update on New Quarterback, Devin Leary, as He Recovers From Pectoral Tear

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The News&Observer via IMAGN

After being projected as a top NFL prospect since the end of the 2021 season, it was well-known that last season would be Will Levis’ last at Kentucky.

With that being said, the staff knew they had to go find another high-level quarterback and that is exactly what they did. In December, the Wildcats made the decision to bring back Liam Coen who played a part in bringing in former N.C. State quarterback, Devin Leary, from the transfer portal.

While Leary set program and conference records at his old school, he is coming off a pectoral tear alongside his throwing arm that occurred back in October. While his commitment brought excitement, it also brought some questions, such as if Leary would be healthy enough to participate in Spring practice.

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Kentucky fans should gain some confidence as Leary is participating in Spring practice, which started on Monday. According to Leary, he is ahead of his rehab process and has shown no arm pain after throwing but the staff wants to make sure, he is 100% healed before “ripping passes at 100%.” For that reason, he will be on a throw count.

On Monday, Stoops took to the stand in the Spring practice opening presser, providing an update on Kentucky’s new QB #1. “He looked really good… He was able to go for basically an entire practice,” Stoops said.

Even with the encouraging news on Leary, there is still the question surrounding the quarterback room, who is going to be the backup?

Obviously, Kentucky will have different options in Kaiya Sheron, Destin Wade, and Deuce Hogan, who have all been considered QB #2 at one time in their Kentucky career, which will make the battle that much more interesting.

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Again, the main question has been answered and Leary is healthy enough to participate in Spring practice and get better accustomed to the team. Hopefully, with Offensive Coordinator Liam Coen coming back he can resonate Kentucky’s offense this year with new QB #1, Devin Leary.

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