LEXINGTON, Ky. – Mark Stoops opened up Kentucky’s second preseason practice of 2016 to the media and public Saturday. A crowd of about 2,000 showed up for autographs and to get an early glimpse at the Wildcats.
A handful of observations from Day 2:
- There is no QB competition. Drew Barker is head and shoulders above the rest. He was decisive and threw with a lot of zip, and connected on some impressive passes, including an in-stride deep ball to redshirt freshman receiver Jabari Greenwood.
- Greenwood is going to be a real factor in an already deep corps of wideouts. He had multiple long receptions, running by defensive backs and stretching out to finish the play.
- Senior receiver Ryan Timmons had a nice day. His hands looked great – with the exception of one drop, for which he immediately did push-ups. Otherwise, he was snagging everything thrown his way.
- Running back Sihiem King was not at practice and Stoops declined to comment about why, but he said “he’ll be back.”
- Starting back Boom Williams was in a red, no-contact jersey and a brace on his surgically repaired elbow but looked great running and Stoops said the staff is just taking extra care to get him to the games healthy. “We can’t be silly. He’s had some major injuries. So, we’ll have him ready to play but we do have to be somewhat cautious and let him work his way back.”
- Defensive back Jared Tucker has transferred, Stoops said. No hard feelings on either side. Tucker just wanted a chance to play and it wasn’t coming at UK.
- Walk-0n receiver Charles Walker looked sharp and caught everything that came his way, including several punts, where he looks like the No. 2 behind Timmons, who’s had a rough time getting comfortable back there in college. Walker can have a “big role — big role,” Stoops said. “I love how Charles plays. Now matter how talented someone is in front of him, they’d better play or he’ll be on the field.” And on punt returns: “He’s definitely an option. Definitely. That’s the No. 1 job is to secure the ball” and then to make smart decisions about when to catch it and when to let it go. That’s been a real issue for UK in the past, so watch out for Walker on the return team.
* Follow Kyle on Twitter @KyleTucker_ACJ. Reach him at Kyle.Tucker@ajc.com.