LEXINGTON — Senior center Matt Smith has had to miss two practices most weeks during spring practice. To compensate, UK has used senior guard Larry Warford, an all-Southeastern Conference performer the last two years, at his spot on those days.
“I think it gave Larry an appreciation for center. He’s always joking with me about how I¿have the easiest job. He messes up more now than he has his whole career here,” said Smith. “He definitely told me it is a different perspective because when he is on one side and looking at what is going on, he can make all the calls even for me.
“But when he’s in the middle and having to make calls everywhere, it’s a little confusing. I think Larry has it the hardest of anybody in the line this spring.”
Warford initially laughed and said Smith “was a liar” for saying he told him center was the easiest spot to play.
“I¿never said something was the easiest ... okay, yeah I did,” Warford smiled and said. “I hate saying that.
“It is a lot tougher at center than I thought because you have to worry about both sides of the line. I am used to just knowing my job and the center’s job when we are in combination together. Now I¿have to worry about both sides and past the tackle, too. Trying to learn that and play at the speed I¿want to play at is real difficult for me and gets frustrating. I feel like i¿have been doing pretty good with that.
“I appreciate the same help from guys next to me when I¿am at guard, but I¿definitely want to help Matt out at center and keep him in the game. I really don’t want to be playing there next season. It’s hard.”
Warford does like what he has seen overall from an offense that struggled to be productive last year.
“We have still got a long way to go. We don’t have the whole offense in,” Warford said. “Going into the season it will come together that first game and we will know who is ready to play and who is not. I think it is a little early to tell, but I¿am confident in our guys.”