LEXINGTON — Logan Stenberg wants the naysayers to take a second look at Kentucky’s football team, especially when it comes to the Wildcats’ offense.
Like his coach Mark Stoops, Stenberg has shrugged off early predictions by most analysts and preseason publications as the Wildcats begin preparations for the upcoming season. He considers the team’s offensive line, which is stocked with veterans, the biggest “bright spot” on the team.
Stenberg is a senior offensive guard.
“I would just tell them to take another look,” Stenberg said. “If not, then be ready; we’re going to take them on a ride this year. You can predict whatever you want, but we’re going to be a (heck) of a football team this year.”
Stenberg said the Wildcats, who finished 10-3 last season, have the potential to match last year’s success, largely because of the team’s talent upgrade and experience in the trenches.
“Every year we take a step back and look at what we have and we start going to work,” Stenberg said. “We have to see what our weaknesses are and strengths are and work off of those and improve where we can.”
Stenberg isn’t sure how the Wildcats will respond to the absence of Benny Snell in the backfield but is confident the Wildcats won’t miss a beat when it comes to offensive production.
“I think we’re going to be able to do what we need to do,” he said. “We haven’t started camp yet. I don’t know whether we’re going to be run-heavy, pass-heavy or not, but I know coach (Eddie) Gran is going to put us in the best situation to win games. If we need to run the ball, we’re going to run it; if we need to pass it, we’ll pass it. We’re going to whatever we need to do.”
Stenberg has noticed a difference in starting quarterback Terry Wilson and expects the senior signal-caller to be one of the team’s top leaders on the offensive side of the ball.
“He’s been working his tail off this offseason in the weight room and he’s been out throwing (the ball),” he said. “I think he’s going to have a huge year this year. He’s going to be ready to make a difference, and that’s what we need on this team. He’s going to be a leader, vocally and physically. He’s going to show us how to do it right, and that will be a great thing for us.”
Stenberg also will be counted on to provide leadership on offense. His approach on the offensive line is simple.
“I try to find their weakness and see where you are weak and expose that and make you feel embarrassed,” he said. “Playing on the offensive line is a double whammy. You’ve got to (tear them down), play with their mind and beat them physically.”
Stenberg said his favorite target in practice is teammate Phil Hoskins.
“I love chirping at Phil Hoskins,” he said. “He’s going to laugh because I love (it) and he loves doing the same. We’re always back and forth with each other. If you are focusing more on me than what you’re supposed to be doing, I’ve won that battle. I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t think it works.”
When the game is on the line, Stenberg maintains the same approach, which helps elevate his game.
“When I am mad, I play harder,” he said. “I really want to get the better of that man (on the other team).”
Stenberg, who attended James Clemens High School in Madison, Alabama, grew up a fan of the Crimson Tide, but he wasn’t heavily sought by Nick Saban and his staff during the recruiting process. At first, Stenberg wasn’t happy but has since moved past the snub by his home state university.
“It was a chip on my shoulder, and I want to make them to regret that decision, but no hard feelings,” he said.
Going into his senior campaign, he wants to keep proving others wrong.