On the field or in the lanes, Haynes loves going bowling


Kentucky guard Nick Haynes takes the field prior to the game against Austin Peay on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016 in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo Arden Barnes

Chase Campbell

UK football’s senior guard Nick Haynes is a core piece to an offensive line that many analysts have ranked among the best in the brutal SEC. He started every game last season when UK’s offensive line was named a semifinalist for the Joe Moore award, which recognizes the nation’s most outstanding offensive line.

Haynes has started in 23 of his 34 played games dating back to his freshman season, as well as being named to the SEC academic honor roll his junior year. Haynes has been an extremely integral member of the Kentucky offense, describing his own play as “physical.”

What many don’t know about Haynes, however, is that he is an extremely accomplished bowler.

“I’m a pretty good football player, but I’m an extraordinary bowler,” Haynes said during UK football’s Media Day.

Haynes has bowled a perfect game a total of five times in his life, and he said he’s a much better individual bowler than an individual football player.

“The thing is, anything I do competitive, I have passion for,” Haynes said. “If I’m bowling, or playing ping pong, or playing video games with Bunchy [Jervontius Stallings], we’re competitive, that’s how it is.”

Last time the Cats went bowling that wasn’t in a bowling alley, the 2016 TaxSlayer Bowl, Haynes played left guard in the game where the Cats racked up 149 rushing yards and a touchdown in the loss to Georgia Tech. It was an underwhelming performance, and Haynes thinks Kentucky can hold their tough reputation as an offensive line even after last season’s finish went sour.

“It’s all five of us,” Haynes said. “…They all know, when you get in the game, there’s a standard we play by. If you’re not playing by that standard, you’re out of the game.”

In a conversation with Haynes, the question of which sport he believed himself to be better at came up.

“I would probably bet my life on a bowling game instead of a football game,” Haynes said. “I’m a better individual bowler than I am an individual football player.”