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Caudill copes with training camp woes

August 08, 2003|LARRY VAUGHT

LEXINGTON - Jeremy Caudill knows preseason football camp is not supposed to be fun. However, that doesn't mean he can't make the best of a difficult situation.

"I don't think anybody likes camp, but it does mean that the start of the football season is almost here," said Caudill, a senior defensive end at Kentucky.

New coach Rich Brooks has taken a similar approach to former UK coach Guy Morriss. He took away car keys and cell phones from the players when they reported Wednesday and will keep them for the next two weeks. He also has the players living in the college dormitories. For those like Caudill who are used to living in a full-size apartment, that can make for crowded living conditions the next two weeks.

"I live in a town home," Caudill said. "I lived in the dorm my freshman year, so it is not that big of an adjustment. But I guarantee you this: I will have the most comfortable bed in the dorm. I've learned to bring my own mattress from home.

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"If you weigh 300 pounds, you sink right to the bottom of those beds. You have to be comfortable to sleep and you need sleep in training camp. I've learned that."

He's also learned to find ways to relax without a car or cell phone. He brings movies from home to watch on a VCR and also takes his turn playing PlayStation games.

"You want to get all the rest you can, but you also want to make sure you don't get bored when you are not practicing," Caudill said.

Caudill doesn't expect to be bored on the practice field. New defensive line coach Michael Gray has made technique changes to implement defensive coordinator Mike Archer's system. Caudill has shifted from tackle to end.

"I did a lot more conditioning work during the summer to get ready," said Caudill, who still had to run extra long with coach Rich Brooks on Thursday. "I ran a lot more, and I hate running. I'm still a little heavier than what the coaches want me at, but I will lose a lot of weight the next couple of weeks."

Caudill is one of six players on the team council that meets with Brooks to discuss team policies. They met before preseason practice started, and Caudill likes what he has heard so far.

"These coaches are going to be demanding, but they also know what direction they want this team to go," Caudill said. "I like what they are doing. They are tough, but firm. They listen, but they have their plans."

Still a quarterback: Junior Shane Boyd has been praised by Brooks for his athleticism and versatility since the start of spring practice. The new UK coach plans to use Boyd not only as Jared Lorenzen's backup at quarterback, but also as a receiver and running back to take advantage of his abilities.

Boyd just wants to remind everyone that he remains a quarterback first.

"My focus is at quarterback, not receiver or running back," Boyd said. "I'll play different spots to help the team, but my heart is at quarterback and always will be.

"The coaches are putting a lot of trust in me to let me play other positions. I'm thankful for a chance to play, but I still consider myself a quarterback."

So does incoming freshman quarterback Andre Woodson. He's pleased that both Lorenzen and Boyd are already helping him, even though he will be redshirted this season unless injuries to Boyd or Lorenzen change his status.

"They are both so great to me," Woodson said Thursday after his first UK practice. "They both really know what they are doing, and they don't mind helping me. Not everybody would be like that. I really appreciate what they are doing for me."



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