Davonte Robinson impresses UK Football staff as classes start back up


Kentucky Wildcats defensive back Derrick Baity was held out of the open practice  at the Joe Craft Football Training Facility on Saturday, August 5, 2017 in Lexington, KY. Photo by Addison Coffey | Staff

Chase Campbell

Thursday, the first UK Football practice since the start of classes on Wednesday was held, and defensive coordinator Matt House was extremely satisfied despite the “transition” in energy, as he called it.

House said that the UK defense only missed about five tackles the entire evening practice and that the focus and physicality built from an extremely effective training camp were prevalent in the practice.

“In training camp, we’ve got them all day long, and now all of a sudden they’re juggling their academic and athletic life in the same day,” House said. “I’m going to be honest, I thought Coach [Mark Stoops] set up a great training camp this year… I liked all the time we had with our kids.”

House also spoke highly of the play of redshirt freshman cornerback Davonte Robinson. He said that several players have been rotated into the safety positions during practice, and when asked who stood out in the rotation, Robinson’s name was the first that House mentioned.

Special teams coach Dean Hood also said that Robinson was in the rotation returning kicks and punts in the practice alongside Mike Edwards and Sihiem King.

Defensive back coach Steve Clinkscale also said that Robinson was among the standouts in the secondary for the Cats in Thursday’s practice.

It was also noted by the coaching staff that starting quarterback Stephen Johnson didn’t throw a single interception in any the team’s 11-on-11 drills. Cornerback Derrick Baity disputed this, assuring the media that he must have gotten “like five” interceptions himself, while fellow defensive back Edwards must have added more.

Baity took on a more serious tone when discussing the injury of wide receiver Dorian Baker. Baity said that he tried to visit Baker after his surgery on Tuesday, but that the hospital had already released Baker to go home.

“Me and Dorian go against each other every day, and then I know personally how hard he worked,” Baity said after practice. “We had high expectations for him, and he can’t even prove it. He can’t even play it for himself.”

With some missing pieces and some budding stars, the complexion of the Cats’ football squad will be different from the idea that some had coming into the season. On Sept. 2, the start of the regular season will be upon them, and they’ll find out if those missing pieces are enough to derail a promising team.