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Kentucky adjusting to new system

August 14, 2003|LARRY VAUGHT

LEXINGTON - If the two-quarterback system has caused any worries at Kentucky, it doesn't show.

Jared Lorenzen and Shane Boyd seem as content as ever about first-year coach Rich Brooks' plan to use them not only at quarterback, but also at other positions. It still seems likely that Lorenzen will at least take some snaps at wide receiver - and become the first 270-pound wide receiver in Southeastern Conference history - and that Boyd will also play tailback and wide receiver.

Brooks knows some will question using two quarterbacks, especially if one got injured playing another position. However, he still believes it is worth the risk to get both players on the field.

"I have not played two quarterbacks very often. I'm not sure I've ever done exactly what we are going to do. But we are going to give other teams a lot to think about, especially when we have both guys in the game together," Brooks said.

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The idea will be to get the most of Lorenzen's extraordinary passing skills as well as Boyd's versatility. Both could line up together in the shotgun making it impossible to know which one might take the snap. Lorenzen is a gifted passer, but is not afraid to run. Boyd is a dangerous runner, but also has a stronger, more accurate throwing arm than some believe.

"We love throwing the ball to each other"

"Whether he is the quarterback or I am, we love the plan," Lorenzen said. "We love throwing the ball to each other. Shane reads defenses exceptionally well when he's at receiver. He knows where the holes in a defense are. Shane is a great player who can do a lot for our team. He's just too good not to be playing. I understand that. Anyone should be able to see that."

The two-quarterback system has another plus. It should not only keep Lorenzen motivated not to put extra pounds back on, but it should have him more rested in the fourth quarter of games.

The down side would be if the two quarterbacks didn't get along, or teammates became divided over who should be the quarterback. So far, none of that seems to have happened as the Cats continue preseason drills in preparation for their opener Aug. 31 against Louisville.

"It's not a prerequisite that they get along with each other, but it certainly helps that they do," Brooks said. "It's not a problem with these two guys. They don't worry about their individual success because their main priority is having the team win. They have both convinced me of that."

Count center Nick Seitze as a believer, too. He's learned to adjust to which quarterback is behind him and anticipates no problems if Brooks and offensive coordinator Ron Hudson do shuffle quarterbacks.

"I just have to remember who is back there because there are some differences," Seitze said. "But I'm comfortable with them. I did some work with both in the summer and they are both getting a lot of repetitions in practice now. There should be no reason for me not to make a good snap no matter who is at quarterback.

"I think using them both makes us a better team. The better they become, the better our team will be and they both can do some special things back there."

Hudson believes Boyd can make plays

Hudson continues to believe that Boyd could make a lot of plays even if he's not at quarterback. The offensive coordinator insists Boyd not only could get time at wide receiver, but also at running back. He's dropped about 15 pounds since last season, but even at 220 pounds he can still be a powerful runner.

"Everybody recruited here can make plays," Boyd said. "I want to be on the field more, even if my heart will always be at quarterback. But if playing those other spots helps the team, it's fine with me and it's obvious coach Brooks is serious about using both of us this season."

Why not? Kentucky is lacking a proven tight end. It is searching for a No. 1 running back. If Brooks and Hudson think being creative can make the offense more productive, then why not do it?



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