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Spring Practice Notes: 3/29/22



Kentucky Wide Receiver, Tayvion Robinson (Photo by Jacob Noger | UK Athletics)

Earlier today, Kentucky Football allowed the media, for the first time this season, to watch the Wildcats on the practice field at Nutter Field House. Stoops and Co. practiced for about an hour and a half and included individual sessions, special teams work, 7-on-7, and 11-on-11’s.

Let’s take a closer look.

The Defense Bested the Offense Today

In today’s post-practice press conference, offensive coordinator, Rich Scangarello, was quick to say that “today was a little rough.” Notably, three interceptions were thrown by Will Levis (two of which Scangerello believed to be controllable), a grounded snap, and a mistimed toss back, which collectively accumulated to a sloppy performance.


While displeased with the performance, Scangarello went on to say, “Those are the things when you have five or six running backs, four different quarterbacks, three centers over the course of practice they happen, but there are no excuses and they can’t happen.”

All this to say, don’t take anything away from the defense. While they had their fair share of mistakes, they won practice today. The defensive line looked strong as the pass rush looked solid and Justin Rogers even broke through the Big Blue Wall during 11 on 11s.

The lack of cornerback depth is a real issue, but players are stepping up.

As mentioned, the secondary had a big day today and was able to pull in three interceptions, by Ty Ajian, Jordan Lovett, and Jalen Geiger. When wide receiver, DeMarcus Harris, was asked who has impressed him the most in the secondary he called out Carrington Valentine, Ty Ajian, Andru Phillips, Taj Dodson, and Jalen Geiger.


I still expect that Stoops and Co. will reach out and find a DB or two in the transfer portal, but it is good to hear players are stepping up and developing.

The Offense Is Adjusting

With a new offensive coordinator comes some growing pains, and that was seen today. However, I do not believe it is anything to be alarmed about, and neither does Rich Scangarello, calmly saying, “Honestly, until you watch the film, you don’t know fully what happened. But as long as we take care of the football, the other stuff we can always fix schematically.”

In his press conference, Scangarello also noted that he is still working through each player right now to find out what each guy is capable of, but also adjusting back to college football from the NFL.

As for the players, they are playing for a starting position, while also building on top of the offense that Coen left behind. It is a learning process.


With that said, there are some very talented pieces on this offense and there is the potential for this to be one of the highest-powered offenses in recent UK history.

Receivers Room Is Promising

While Kentucky has had talented individual receivers such as Wan’Dale Robinson and Lynn Bowden, it has been a struggle to have multiple reliable options at receiver.

Since winning the Citrus Bowl in January, the Cats have lost their top three receiving options and the 3,000 yards of offensive production that they were responsible for last season, but bring in several talented wideouts via recruiting and the transfer portal. Of that group, two notable receivers jumped out today at practice, Virginia Tech transfer Tayvion Robinson and true freshman Dane Key.

Robinson, a former top-500 recruit, transfers from Virginia Tech where he played three seasons and accumulated 113 receptions for 1,555 yards and nine touchdowns.


Kentucky brought in Robinson to aid in the replacement of the other Robinson, Wandale. That was seen as he worked primarily from the slot today, showing that they will use him in a similar fashion. Levis and Robinson seem to have formed chemistry quickly, as he already looked to be the primary target.

Key, a four-star legacy recruit from Frederick Douglass (Lexington, KY), has lived up to the expectations in spring practice. Standing at 6-foot-3, he is an attractive option for Levis, and as the X receiver, they connected on several plays through practice, making it look fluid and effortless.

As a freshman, Key will have some learning to do, but I expect him to play and make an impact this fall.

Other Notes

  • If you closed your eyes, you may not be able to distinguish the difference between Mike Stoops are Mark Stoops. They sound nearly identical.
  • There are a lot of players, specifically on offense, that are currently working in different positions.
  • Players are want the Big Blue Wall and it’s history to “stay forever, ever, and ever”, and show that to incoming players by showing by example.
  • Mark Stoops cannot wait for his new facility.
  • Walk-on and Iowa transfer, Duece Hogan, has a cannon.



REPORT: Liam Coen Leaving Kentucky for NFL Offensive Coordinator Position



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.”


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



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.”


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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FB Recruiting

Cutter Boley Opens up on Playing for Kentucky, “This Is Where My Heart’s Always Been”



Four-star quarterback prospect Cutter Boley signing with Kentucky football.
© Scott Utterback/Courier Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

With the early National Signing Day for the class of 2024 being over, Kentucky’s newest signed quarterback Cutter Boley discusses why he committed to play at Kentucky.

“Just growing up in the state, you know, I’ve grown up a fan I feel like this is where my heart’s always been, and just the offense that Liam Coen runs and the job coach (Mark) Stoops does as head coach is phenomenal and I wouldn’t want to play for anybody else,” Boley tells Kentucky Insider.

Kentucky needed to get some quarterbacks after three players either graduated or transferred with Devin Leary graduating, Destin Wade transferring to Colorado, and Kaiya Sheron electing to transfer as well.


Kentucky was able to load up in the quarterback room by landing the Georgia transfer Brock Vandagriff, Georgia Southern transfer Beau Allen, and then signing Boley in the class of 2024. Boley is ready to compete against them and he recognizes their talent.

“I couldn’t be any more excited to learn from them. They’re two really good quarterbacks, like I said, and they’ll have countless things to teach me from the places they’ve been and the offense that they’ve been in,” Boley tells us. “I just can’t wait to learn the things they know and just be able to work and get to work with them.”

One of the reasons why Boley committed to Kentucky is due to him having a connection since he has lived here his whole life.

“Just growing up in the state, you know, I’ve grown up a fan I feel like this is where my heart’s always been, and just the offense that Liam Coen runs and the job coach (Mark) Stoops does as head coach is phenomenal and I wouldn’t want to play for anybody else,” said Boley.


As for finally signing his National Letter of Intent, Boley feels relieved to have it finished.

“It’s definitely a relief to finally put the pen to paper and make it official,” said Boley. “It’s been a long time coming so I couldn’t be any more excited about my decision and where I’m going to be for the next four years.”

What Boley is most focused on is how the offense is run, as at this time he feels like his play style is made to play professionally.

“I’m really hoping to develop into that pro-style quarterback, but I feel like I’m definitely a pro-style quarterback right now, but really develop into just being able to play in that offense at a very high level and get really comfortable in the offense, and I just want to develop all parts of my game and really be a quarterback that the NFL looks for and that type of quarterback they want to have,” Boley tells us.


With Kentucky having a chance to develop within instead of the transfer route, fans will have a chance to see a quarterback finally develop into potentially starting in the future.

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