Mark Stoops
Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops speaks to reporters during the NCAA college football Southeastern Conference Media Days Tuesday, July 20, 2021, in Hoover, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Kentucky at SEC Media Days

At the third day of SEC Media Days, Kentucky Coach Mark Stoops along with players Josh Paschal and Darian Kinnard spoke with the media reflecting on this past year’s challenges and the excitement of the upcoming season.

Mark Stoops

First to speak from Kentucky was Coach Mark Stoops, who is entering his ninth season with the Wildcats. He started off by speaking highly of his two players who were joining him. He described Paschal as a “terrific football player, terrific young man, and a great leader in our program”.

He then emphasized the importance of their team culture, citing weekly speakers that come in followed by team barbeques.

“You guys have heard me for years sit here and just pound it about the program, the program, the program, and building the program, and all the different things we do each and every year. That’s still the foundation, build, select, develop.”

Lastly, he reflected on being grateful for his position as he is second in tenure to Alabama’s Nick Saban. Here’s Stoops on how it feels to go into the season with all of his experience.

“I think grateful. I feel good about where we’re at. We’re constantly learning, constantly growing, and we’re getting better.”

Josh Paschal

Next up was the senior defensive end who decided to come back for his last year at Kentucky. Paschal talked about what he is most excited about this coming season.

“To really get after it and play somebody else. We have a packed crowd and we can’t wait for that.”

Regarding expectations, Paschal and his team know where they want to be in late December.

“Our common goal is Atlanta and that’s where we want to get to. We have to take every game as it is and that’s what we are doing.”

For the team. Three of the most important words in the Kentucky Football program and Paschal wrapped up his news day with his thoughts on the team motto.

“For the team. That’s something we embody no matter what we are doing. If it is not for the benefit of the team, we aren’t going to do it.”

Darian Kinnard

The senior offensive tackle was next and shared his thoughts on the upcoming season. He started by praising the new offensive coordinator, Liam Coen.

“The new offensive coordinator is a great guy with great energy. We have to trust him and continue working. He wants to pinpoint accuracy with everything we are doing. Everything we do has a purpose.”

He also touched on his decision to stay at Kentucky for his senior season.

“Seeing the team that we have, I know we can have an amazing year. For personal reasons, I knew that if I got a lot of reps at left tackle, it could help me for the NFL Draft.”

Kentucky looks to bounce back from a 5-6 2020 season last year. Their 2021 campaign starts September 4th against LA-Monroe at 12:00PM in Lexington.

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