LEXINGTON, Ky. — As Kentucky’s coaches are preaching patience before playing time when it comes to Lynn Bowden, sophomore running back Benny Snell serves as an easy example.
“Wasn’t a factor at all in those first two games and that’s all anybody talked about by the end of the year,” Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said of Snell.
Snell stood on the sidelines in Kentucky’s first two games last season. By the end of the year he had more than 1,000 yards and six UK freshman rushing records to his name.
Snell was asked after practice Tuesday if he had to share that success story with any current freshman.
“Lynn’s one guy,” Snell said. “I got to get in his head a little more. He’s a great player, and a lot of people don’t see that yet, but they’re gonna see it in the future. I’ve been talking to him a little bit, and he’s gonna stay patient. He’s gonna shine.”
Bowden only saw a few snaps in Kentucky’s 24-17 win last Saturday at Southern Miss. Bowden, the No. 1 signee in Kentucky’s 2017 class, took to Twitter after the game to express his frustration at what appeared to be a lack of playing time.
Stoops shut down the conversation at his Monday press conference saying it was “no issue.”
“I talked to him for five minutes, it’s over,” Stoops said. “He’s a competitor. He’s not some pouty little kid. He’s a young man that’s gonna be a very good player that we have to bring on… Believe me, if you want to talk about some of the most talented players I’ve ever coached, man, there’s some high-maintenance dudes out there. You want to go back to my days at Miami or Florida State, I’ll give you high maintenance. They’re wired different.”
Stoops said more plays were planned for Bowden, but Kentucky’s lack of snaps didn’t allow for them.
Offensive coordinator Eddie Gran said more playing time is likely to come for the former 4-star athlete.
“Lynn was late, and he understands that,” Gran said, referencing Bowden’s delayed arrival due to an eligibility issue. “But absolutely more touches as we continue for sure.”
Wide receivers coach Lamar Thomas said Kentucky gets to “showcase” Bowden this week. And as far as the tweets, he knows what Stoops was talking about as far as talented players who are high maintenance.
Thomas, who starred at Miami in college, might’ve been high maintenance himself.
“As a player who thought I was a pretty good athlete, sometimes you ask for things, you bite off more than you can chew and you get humbled,” Thomas said with a smile. “At the same time, I would rather have a kid that wants that, and wants to be in there to show what he can do than a kid who says, ‘Oh, I don’t know, it might be a little too tough for me.’ The competitive spirit in him is gonna make him a great player.
Bowden wasn’t available for interviews after practice Tuesday.