Main takeaways from Stoops at media day


Football Coach Mark Stoops talks during a pre-game press conference at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky., on Saturday, January 12, 2013.

Chris Leach

As the head coach of UK’s promising football team, Mark Stoops had many topics to cover at UK’s football media day.

In the nearly thirty-minute press conference, Stoops talked about player expectations, concerns and optimism regarding the upcoming season. Here are the highlights of what Coach Stoops said.

Lynn Bowden update

The first question asked was about Lynn Bowden, and Stoops informed the media that Bowden has not arrived on campus yet.

Bowden has been away from the team all summer because he was not enrolled in summer school. As UK’s training camp starts on Sunday, Bowden was expected to be on campus, but instead is the only member of the team missing.

“We’ll be at full tilt and we’re waiting on Lynn here in the next couple days,” Stoops said.

Stoops cited an NCAA clearinghouse issue as to why Bowden is not with the Cats right now. When Bowden does become cleared, he is expected to make an impact immediately as a true freshman.

Quarterback competition still on-going

Up until the start of UK’s season opener against Southern Mississippi, questions about the starting quarterback will be asked, and today was no different.

In the latest released depth chart, Stephen Johnson was slated as the starting quarterback, but Stoops re-affirmed that the starting job is still up for grabs.

One positive Stoops is taking away from the quarterback battle is the depth the Cats now have in the position, and with the Cats playing eight SEC games this season, that depth could be helpful late in the season.

“As we got thin last year it got, you had to be careful, even with some of the designed quarterback runs and things of that nature,” Stoops said. “With some depth it, hopefully, will free us up a tad.”

As for Johnson, battling for the starting spot has motivated the senior to work harder to make sure he’s the guy on game day.

“It keeps you on your toes, it means going out there and having to come everyday makes everybody, especially the guys at that position, better,” Johnson said.

Depth a challenge and bonus for Stoops

It’s no secret that this season’s roster is one of Stoops’ deepest, with many players competing for a rotation spot at nearly all positions.

Usually head coaches would be happy to have depth, but Stoops does not have much experience managing a deep roster, and that’s a challenge he’s had to deal with this season.

“I don’t want to use the word to describe that, but very different (describing the depth),” Stoops said. “I don’t want to be negative, but very different.”

That does not mean that Stoops is opposed to the deep roster, as he feels that his team is in a better stop now because of the depth.

“I really like where we’re at right now compared to last year,” Stoops said. “I just feel like the ownership, the leadership is much stronger, and it should be.”


Overall, Stoops and the rest of the coaching staff and players are excited for camp and the football season to begin. They know the potential that they have this year and are ready to start the season.