LEXINGTON — He was the opening-game starter at tight end for Kentucky at Louisville, and had eight starts as a redshirt freshman last season. But former Boyle County standout Jordan Aumiller knows the competition get that starting nod again is going to be stiff this season.
“There’s six of us (competing). It’s all competition all the time. We push each other all the time in the weight room, and drills and all that stuff,”¿said Aumiller. “It would be awesome, and of course that’s everybody’s goals, to start. To start back-to-back years would make me feel a lot better, and I’ve been working hard. That’s everybody’s main goal, and it’s my goal, too.”
Aumiller is coming off a season where had 18 catches for 193 yards and a touchdown against Auburn. He battled shoulder injuries late in the season, but said he just needs to come out this year showing he has improved in all aspects of his game.
“Just going out there and proving myself again.¿I think I had a good camp last year, and a good start to the season, and I fell off at the end with injuries. But I‘m looking to come back strong and make a good first impression,” he said.
He says blocking is the aspect of his game that he needed to improve on the most.
“I think about it all the time. You can work on your footwork and hit the one-man sled and stuff (in the summer), but it’s a whole different game once you get the pads on,” he said. “That’s something I really want to come out and improve on.”
Kentucky has also not had a viable passing game involving the tight ends since Jacob¿Tamme left four years ago. But with the talent the Wildcats have, Aumiller said the tight ends should have more of an impact this season.
“I think being more involved in the passing game, the tight ends can do that. Just making more big plays and being able to rely on us for third and short passes or whatever and making a key block. Or anything like that I can do to help the team,” he said. “I think all of us are talented enough and have enough skills and have played enough that I think we can be a vital part of the offense.”
This summer was critical for Aumiller and his group to get in a good rhythm with quarterback Morgan Newton.
“That’s real important, getting timing with the quarterback,” he said. ”Everybody’s going to be down in the box (to stop the run), and it’s important to have a good connection with your quarterback.”
Aumiller said it was a good summer all around for the UK tight ends. He added that the tight end developed a great camaraderie despite the fact they will all battling for playing time during preseason camp.
“The weight program was real good and all the tight ends, we all worked really hard. We all pretty much lifted in the same group and ran together and did drills in the same group,” he said.
And Aumiller said he and the other tight ends feel very comfortable heading into the season.
“All of us tight ends can do different things, and each of us are confident in our own abilities,” he said.