A visit with UK coach Rich Brooks

By BRIAN RICKERD State Journal Sports Writer Published:

New University of Kentucky head football coach Rich Brooks touched on a wide range of issues recently at media day as he prepares his Wildcats for the Aug. 31 opener against Louisville.

Here's a look at Brooks' thoughts:

Give us a sense of the team's first few days of practice.

BROOKS: I think we still feel very strongly that we have a nucleus of talented players that will give us an opportunity to be a competitive team this year. We need to stay healthy with some of our key positions. Cardiovascular, conditioning is, I would say it's considerably better than it was at the start of spring practice and better than it was at the end of practice by the majority of the team.

What is Jared (Lorenzen) looking like right now?

BROOKS: Jared passed his test, cardiovascular, on his first try for the first time. He's in pretty good cardiovascular (shape). He's not at the weight that we've discussed and we will continue to head in a direction that's downward.

How far is he off?

BROOKS: He's far enough that I'm concerned about it.

Does that put his position in jeopardy as starting quarterback?

BROOKS: He's not the only member of the team who's not at the weight we want. There's about five other guys, and several of them are starters, who are going to get a little leaner before we strike it up for real. I think anybody's position is in jeopardy. People are lined up at first string right now based on what they did at spring practice, and they're going to need to continue to do that to keep that position. And people who weren't at first string at the end of spring practice have an opportunity to show that they're ready to move ahead of somebody. Nothing is secure in life. You have to earn it and you can't just earn it last week and sit on your laurels and expect to hold a position based on what you did yesterday or last week or last year. Our players are going to have to compete every day and each week leading up to Louisville to be the starter in the Louisville game.

For more on this story, see the latest State Journal.

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