After four practice days at UK’s fall football camp, here are four more things we have learned.
1. Landon Foster leads Joe Mansour in the punting battle. Foster gets the punts off quicker, said head coach Joker Phillips on Tuesday. With Craig McIntosh holding down the place-kicking duties, the camp’s open competition is focusing on the punting spot vacated by the graduated Ryan Tydlacka. Mansour was recruited as a kicker but is competing for the punting job, but trails the true freshman Foster thus far.
2. DeMarco Robinson is more confident fielding punts. This could be a big deal. The UK staff had high hopes for the then freshman as a return specialist last season, but Robinson never got comfortable catching kicks out of the high sky in the face of on-rushing college tacklers. Phillips reports that appears to be changing. And UK could use a threat at returner, a bonus it lacked last year after the departure of Randall Cobb.
3. Ronnie Shields and Tyler Robinson have edged ahead in the tight end battle. This is a position with some depth, but the Cats could sure use a difference-maker to shake free and take hold of what has been an under-utilized position since Jacob Tamme graduated.
4. DeMarcus Sweat could be the deep threat the offense needs. He’s just a true freshman, remember. But the rookie is described as more of a speed receiver, with fellow rookie A.J. LeGree pegged as more of a possession receiver. Phillips praised his young pass-catchers on Tuesday. When asked to pinpoint which young guys, the head coach simply said the new ones. He doesn’t want to talk about individual freshman until they have played beneath the bright lights, but we knew who he meant.