LEXINGTON, Ky. — It’s been 186 days since Drew Barker last played in a football game and nearly four months since the former Kentucky starting quarterback had back surgery. Barker hasn’t been full-go so far in spring practice, but offensive coordinator Eddie Gran said he’s making progress.
“Yeah, he came in and got some reps,” Gran said Tuesday after Kentucky’s fourth spring practice. “Got some reps in team, got some reps in 1-on-1s. He was kinda just put in there at periodic times. Not really getting into rhythm, just wanting to see where he’s at and how he feels after this. We’ll see how it is and we’ll keep progressing him as we go.”
Coach Mark Stoops said in his introductory spring football press conference that the plan was to get Barker more involved after spring break. Tuesday’s practice was the first since spring break.
“We’ll be very anxious to see Drew out there,” Stoops said on March 6. “Like I said, after spring break, we will see where he’s at. It’s my understanding that the doctors are going to let him do a little bit more after spring break. I don’t think it’ll be at a point where he’s in any 11-on-11, but maybe some seven-on-seven or half line or one-on-ones.”
But the process will be a slow one as the return from back surgery would caution.
“That’s why it was just one rep here, one rep there,” Gran said. “It’s crazy to go in there and throw him in there for seven plays in a row. That doesn’t make any sense. We have to see where it’s at, how he feels. We’re talking to him each day. We’ll just take it nice and easy. There’s no hurry. We don’t have to win a game here in the next couple of weeks. That’s a good thing.”
Kentucky’s Blue-White game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on April 14.