Tamme: Predictions don't worry Wildcats

July 12, 2004|LARRY VAUGHT

As the preseason college football predictions continue to be unveiled, the forecasted outlook for Kentucky remains the same.

The Wildcats are being picked either last or next-to-last in the Southeastern Conference Eastern Division and given little chance of having a winning season.

"I really haven't seen any of them," Kentucky redshirt freshman receiver Jacob Tamme said of the gloomy predictions for UK. "We don't talk about it. We know that we will probably be underdogs in our first game (against Louisville). Besides that, we don't really look at anything else.

"We just have to get to where we are as good as we can be going into that first game. Last year I don't think we were as good as we could have been in that first game. This year we have to be fully prepared to win right away."


Kentucky lost 40-24 and stumbled to a 4-8 season in coach Rich Brooks' first year just one year after finishing 7-5 under coach Guy Morriss.

This year the Cats have less overall depth because of NCAA sanctions and far less experience on offense. But Tamme says the Cats are not looking for excuses for why they can't win.

"We don't talk about probation. We don't talk about not having enough scholarships," Tamme said. "Who wants to sit around and talk about that we are missing 21 guys who could be here because we've been short scholarships for three years?

"We are just going to play. It's nobody's fault that we were on probation. Nobody on the team caused probation or was involved in what happened. We never have worried about any of that. We know probation has been there, but we are just going to go play and see what happens."

Tamme said summer workouts have been much better for him than a year ago when he wasn't sure what to expect.

"For guys just coming in now, it's such a big adjustment because it really is a whole new level of football," Tamme said. "You don't know a lot of guys when you come in. This year has been a lot different, and easier, for me. I know more people and know the ropes."

Tamme and his teammates lift weights four days a week, run four days and have team passing drills three days.

Tamme said starting quarterback Shane Boyd is "getting the baseball" out of his throwing motion after spending part of the spring as a relief pitcher for the UK baseball team.

"We were talking about it the other day when he said he has just a little bit of baseball left that he needs to get out of his throwing motion," Tamme said. "I said, 'I know. I did that every year when I played baseball, too.'

"It's a real adjustment, especially for him because he has to make so many great throws. But he'll definitely be ready for the start of (preseason) camp. I think he's ready now, but he's tough on himself."

What about the defense?

"It's kind of tough to tell in the summer, but from what I see in the weight room and in workouts, I think everybody is getting better," Tamme said. "We basically are just all focusing on getting better. If you work hard, you will get better and that's what we have to do."

No peeking: Tamme and kicker Taylor Begley both worked the Boyle County Youth Football Camp here this weekend. So did brothers Bobby and Travis Leffew, both starting linemen for Louisville.

Kentucky plays at Louisville Sept. 5 in the season opener for both teams, but Tamme said he made sure not to say anything to the Leffews that could be used against Kentucky.

"(Former Boyle and UK receiver) Neal (Brown) was asking me about our audibles and I told Bobby he had to close his ears so he wouldn't hear anything he shouldn't," Tamme said. "Seriously, they are both good friends. Hopefully we can beat them and then be good friends again after that day. But they are both big boys and I'm not about to say anything that would upset them."

NCAA host: Kentucky will host opening round NCAA Tournament games in 2007 at Rupp Arena.

Other first-round sites that year will be Buffalo, N.Y.; Sacramento, Calif., Spokane, Wash., Winston-Salem, N.C., Chicago, Columbus, Ohio; and New Orleans. The regionals will be in San Jose, Calif., St. Louis, San Antonio and East Rutherford, N.J.

Opening rounds games will be played in Anaheim, Calif.; Denver; Omaha, Neb.; Washington D.C.; Birmingham; Little Rock, Ark.; Raleigh, N.C.; and Tampa in 2008 with the regionals at Phoenix, Detroit, Houston and Charlotte.

Golf outing: Coaches Rich Brooks of Kentucky and Bobby Petrino of Louisville along with their staffs will again take part in the Governor's Cup Classic to benefit Special Olympics Kentucky and the Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks' Trust for Life organ donor program.

The event Aug. 5 at the University Club of Kentucky in Lexington will include a media luncheon that starts at 11:45 a.m. press conference, 18 holes of golf and dinner for all participants. Former UK quarterback George Blanda and former Louisville linebacker Doug Buffone will also be honored during the luncheon.

The golf will pair fans with members of the coaching staff, media and former players. Limited spots are still available for the golf outing. For information, call Randy Whitt at 502-326-5002 or 502-552-6951 or e-mail him at

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