Kentucky football: News and notes


Senior cornerback Randall Burden hopes his new beard can help him make as many plays on the field as it has off the field this summer. Photo by Brandon Goodwin

One day after the UK football team held its first two-a-day of the summer, the Cats found themselves in a flurry of injuries, transfers, high school commitments and … beards?

Hines sprains knee, not expected to miss season opener

UK senior offensive guard Stuart Hines, fresh off a third-team All-SEC season in 2010, sprained a knee in the team’s practice on Tuesday. Entering his third year as a starter for the Cats, Hines is not expected to sit out UK’s season opener against Western Kentucky on Sept. 1. If every cloud truly does have its silver lining, this cloud’s silver lining would be the opportunity for head coach Joker Phillips and offensive line coach Mike Summers to develop depth on the offensive line.

“Losing Stu is tough, he’ll be back here soon,” fellow senior guard Larry Warford said. “As far as the backups coming in, we’ve been doing a good job trying to get them incorporated into our offense and getting them used to playing with the first team. They’ve been handling it pretty well.”

Wide receiver Gene McCaskill also remains out of practice with a knee injury, but Phillips phrased McCaskill’s situation as “needing a break on his knee” and says the training staff will continue to monitor his situation.

Huzzie transfers to Murray State

Sophomore linebacker Qua Huzzie announced on Wednesday that he would be transferring out of UK’s football program. On Thursday, it was announced that Huzzie would be transferring to Murray State, a move that caught many of the Cats off guard.

“It really was unexpected. We thought Qua was a great player and had great potential. It threw us all off when he told us that, and we’re sorry to see him go. It always hurts the team when you lose a great player, but it just means that somebody else has to step up and fill that role.” Senior linebacker Ronnie Sneed mentioned linebackers Malcolm McDuffen and Tim Patterson as potential replacements for Huzzie on UK’s second team defense.

Cats’ defense adds another high school commitment

The Cats added their 19th high school commitment to date on Thursday when the program signed safety Jacoby Glenn out of Alabama, according to this post to Kentucky Sports Radio’s blog. Glenn is listed at 6-foot-1, 172 pounds, but was not ranked by entering his senior season. Glenn chose UK over Memphis, Mississippi State and Jacksonville State.

Burden Beard Watch continues

As camp continues deeper into August, senior cornerback Randall Burden has allowed his beard to flourish under his helmet. Burden said his original plan was to just grow the beard during camp, but now is considering letting it grow throughout the season as well. Burden said his beard was not an impression of San Francisco Giants pitcher Brian Wilson, but rather modeled after another great sports beard.

“It’s something new, I’ve never done something like this before,” Burden said. “It’s tough trying to keep it up and it’s irritating, but I’m trying to keep it for the season. My main inspiration though is James Harden (of the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder), one of my favorite basketball players. I started doing it after him.”