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Sprints Thinks Kentucky's Fall Practice is an Interesting Place // 08.13.12

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At least he can throw to the correct side of the field.
At least he can throw to the correct side of the field.

17 Days Until SEC Football

Kentucky's offense is never boring. At least not when you're describing it
Maxwell Smith, whom yours truly would love to be the Kentucky starting quarterback because his name is just close enough to "Maxwell Smart" to open up all kinds of "Get Smart" jokes, appears to be leading the competition to do just that in Lexington. Morgan Newton is still working off some injury-related rust, and freshman Patrick Towles is experiencing some issue as well.

"He can obviously throw the football, but sometimes he's looking one way and throwing it to somebody when his whole progression's on the other side of the field," Sanders assessed.

You can probably figure out why that would be a problem. But don't worry; the brain trust at Kentucky is on the case.

While head coach Joker Phillips and his offensive coordinator had different ways of playing up the competition, both made it clear that the thing that will separate the starter from the backups is the ability to lead the offense and score touchdowns.

The latter, in particular, would seem to be an ideal trait in a starter. But they're working on it, so a trip to Atlanta has to be in the offing.

This seems -- odd
Kentucky's La'Rod King is a father, and good for him. And this is almost certainly nothing, given that there are dozens of players on a team and any number of reasons why you might not mention it, but this seems like a strange thing to fail to tell your coaches.

King's son was born shortly after spring football. The coaches knew that their star receiver, who caught 40 passes for 598 yards and seven touchdowns, seemed distracted during spring practice, but they didn't know why.

They just knew that he had put on weight and seemed unfocused.

"We were trying to blame it on something," Coach Joker Phillips said. "We didn't know."

Again, there's no rule that says you have to tell your coach and no real reason to go out of your way to tell him. But why didn't Phillips and coaches, you know, ask their wide receiver why he seemed distracted and unfocused? Rather than just guess aimlessly, and hoping it would get better.

This is how you bury the lede

The absence of Strong leaves Vanderbilt even thinner at a position where depth was already a concern. It will likely demand larger roles from Karl Butler and freshman Darreon Herring and could prompt Vanderbilt to show plenty of nickel defense -- something it is comfortable with given its deep secondary.

"Tristan just has some personal things he needs to deal with right now to take care of Tristan," Franklin said.


Johnny Manziel takes the lead in the Texas A&M quarterback derby
But there's still some time for this to play out before the season starts, so don't count Jameill Showers out.

Two Wolverines return to practice
But there's still a question about whether they'll play against Alabama.

This might be the nicest thing he's ever said about them
Steve Spurrier does like Tennessee -- especially when they're using a field named after him and the Volunteers aren't playing against the Gamecocks.

"I'm glad we could help out the Vols," he told The State newspaper. "Hopefully, they will beat Georgia and a whole bunch of people. Not us, but a bunch."

Yes, Steve Spurrier managed to turn a question about Tennessee practicing on a field named after him into an opportunity to tweak Georgia. Ladies and gentlemen, we are watching a master of the art of trollery at the top of his game.

The Honey Badger might stay in Louisiana
McNeese State could get a real boon from having a former Heisman winner on the team, you would think.

Or maybe not
There's also talk that Tyrann Mathieu could head to Jackson State. But this can't be a good sign for them.

Hoard also acknowledged rumors that Mathieu had set up an unofficial visit to the JSU campus for Sunday afternoon, but that it reportedly fell through because Mathieu was rumored to still be visiting McNeese State.

Read into that what you will.