LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky football team will hold its final scrimmage Saturday at Commonwealth Stadium but first-year head coach Joker Phillips said Friday morning that the team has already turned its full attention to Louisville.
“At this stage it is all Louisville,” Phillips said. “We broke camp on Tuesday and we have always had a period on Louisville during training camp, while also trying to get ourselves better fundamentally and doing all those things. We are now all Louisville.”
The Wildcats practiced for two hours Friday morning with Phillips talking mostly about the tight end position afterwards. The battle at tight end has been one of the best battles of fall camp with several players fighting for reps since the injury of junior Nick Melillo.
Phillips told reporters after practice if the season started today that redshirt freshman Jordan Aumiller would be the first player on the field.
“If we played today, (Jordan) Aumiller,” Phillips said when asked who his No. 1 tight end would be. “Aumiller has been playing well enough to be the first guy that comes out on the field.”
Phillips continued to mention freshman Tyler Robinson, saying that he would be No. 2 on the depth chart as of now with his physical play.
Other position battles are not as clear to the first-year coach, especially at some offensive line positions and at linebacker. Phillips has spoke highly of the offensive line the past few weeks, saying he loved how they were coming off the ball and getting downfield.
“The center position is still undecided and the right tackle (position),” Phillips said. “We feel really good about both of those guys, (Brad) Durham and Billy Joe Murphy. We haven’t decided who will be the first one out on the field but both of them are playing really good for us right now.”
Phillips said the battle at strongside linebacker between senior Jacob Dufrene and sophomore Ridge Wilson is starting to take shape with Dufrene being a little bit ahead of Wilson. Phillips said they will use the scrimmage tomorrow to evaluate the position more.
Phillips also announced that junior Ryan Tydlacka will likely handle the punting for UK this season and has been the most consistent in field goal and extra point kicking. Freshman Joe Mansour also has been kicking the ball well and will could be used as the long field goal kicker for UK. Kickoff duty is still undecided.