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Tamme adjusting to 'whole new game'

August 11, 2003|LARRY VAUGHT

LEXINGTON - Four years ago Jacob Tamme remembers having to adjust to his first practices at Boyle County High School.

As difficult as that transition was, it doesn't start to experience what Tamme is doing now that he has started preseason workouts at the University of Kentucky.

"I came up for almost four weeks to get ahead start getting to know some of the guys," said Tamme. "I've been looking forward to this for a long time. I'm still not exactly sure what the real practices are going to be like, but I learned when we did our 7-on-7 scrimmages in the summer that the competition would be a lot tougher because everybody is so fast and athletic."

"My first year at Boyle I didn't know what to expect, but the competition here is totally different. Even my sophomore year of high school when I started getting to play, it was nothing like this. It wasn't that bad at Boyle going against the seniors, but this is a whole new game."

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Tamme will get his first looks at wide receiver, a position that not only is difficult to learn, but one that also is well stocked with returning players. Tamme says he has no idea whether he'll be redshirted this season, but that if he is it will be fine with him.

Tamme says the back problem that plagued him during the Kentucky-Tennessee All-Star Game is fine now.

"It was bad at the all-star game, but it is fine now," Tamme said.

Tamme is rooming with junior receiver Gerard Parker during training camp. Parker, a Lawrence County product, twice has fractured his collarbone and has had only limited playing time at Kentucky. Yet Tamme expects him to be a valuable resource the next two weeks.

"The coaches kind of match you up with someone older at your position," Tamme said. "It will help me because he's been through a lot with all his injuries and some other things. I will get to learn a lot from him not only about football, but also about college life."

Once training camp ends, Tamme will room with Bell County defensive back Dallas Greer.

"We kind of knew each other and I called him up and asked if he wanted to room with me. It just kind of worked out and should be good for both of us," Tamme said.

Weighting: Quarterback Jared Lorenzen's weight again was a topic of discussion at UK's Media Day.

Brooks said Lorenzen was not the only member of the team that reported over the weight the coaches wanted, but that Lorenzen was far enough away that the coach was "definitely concerned."

"Anybody's position is in jeopardy," Brooks said. "We line up the first string (now) based on spring practice. People not on the first team will get a chance to move up. Nothing is secure in life. You can't earn something last week, rest on your laurels and expect to hold your spot based on last year or last week."

Scheduling: Brooks once again said he would prefer not to open the season against rival Louisville. Athletics director Mitch Barnhart said he would look into making the schedule more like what his coach wants.

"Rich just isn't comfortable with opening the season against Louisville. We may try to discuss some things and see if there is anything we can do to accommodate his wishes. We always want our coaches to be comfortable with the schedule," Barnhart said.

Brooks said he has nothing against playing Louisville. He just would like the game to be later.

"I would prefer for it to be the second or third game so we would have a chance to evaluate our team before we play them," Brooks said. "But it's the same for both teams.

"There will be surprises on both sides Aug. 31 (when the teams play). There will be things we are not prepared for. There will be things they are not prepared for. You just have to make adjustments as you go that you might not have to do if you have already played a game or two."

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