LEXINGTON — It wasn’t hard for freshman cornerback Jonathan Reed to figure out what he needed to do during the summer.
“Summer is about working out, getting in shape and school work. Getting established with the team. Staying ahead of school. That’s what is important and what I did,” said Reed, an Indianapolis product who has been timed in the 40-yard dash in 4.38 seconds. “It was pretty much a dead time in Lexington during the summer without as many people on campus, but the folks that were here were great and the hospitality was great. I love it here.”
ESPN and he still believes he could help UK this season.
“I believe whole freshman class can do something. Not knocking anybody in the upper classes, but they brought us in to help change the program around. We kind of have a bad rep (as a team) right now. We are here to prove them all wrong,” Reed said.
He was one of the few freshmen not overwhelmed by the summer workouts under strength coach Ray “Rock” Oliver.
“I wouldn’t say they were really that hard. The tempo was faster, but for the most part it was really good. He pushed us. He really pushed us. But my high school coach also pushed us just like that. Rock, don’t get me wrong, he really stretched us,” Reed said. “I did enjoy it. I¿like a challenge. I¿always have. The reps were tough.¿In high school you might have reps three or four times, for him it is maybe 50, 75 times. He will push us.
“It’s all mental. Physically, you are going to be dead regardless. That is why he does so much to make sure you are mentally strong and ready for (training) camp.”
He says former Pike High School teammate Dakota Tyler, who is back on the team after missing last year for personal reasons, helped him immensely during the summer.
“He showed me a lot. And Martavius Neloms. He has helped a lot, too. He sat me down in the film room and showed me a lot of stuff. Actually, they all have helped a lot. Mikie Benton, Cartier Rice, they all took us under their wings,” Reed said.
He needed that because of the demanding UK¿playbook.
“The playbook is a little thicker than some of my text books. I weighed it and it was like 4.4 pounds. I was like, ‘Good Lord.’ For the most part, that was my hardest class all summer,” Reed joked.
“We tried to incorporate a lot of that into our seven on seven workouts during the summer. We did a lot of situations where we run this play and a lot of the old players would show us how to do it. Then we watched on film and what we did wrong or right and how to fix it.”
Reed especially liked what he saw from freshman receiver Demarcus Sweat.
“I worked out with him last summer, but to see him develop his body some more and now coming out of senior year he is a lot better. I believe he will really do a lot for us this year and in the years to come,” Reed said.
Reed hopes to at least play special teams, but his chances to get on the field increased when redshirt freshman Marcus Caffey was declared ineligible just before preseason camp opened.
“He is a good student. He will get it together. I¿know he will. He is a great man. I¿know that. It is like losing a brother. It hurts us all not to have him, but we just have to buckle down and do it without him,” Reed said.
Chemistry: Kentucky coach Joker Phillips continues to rave about his team’s chemistry 10 days into preseason camp.
“We have a great locker room right now, I love this locker room,” Phillips said. “We have guys doing the things the right way and especially the guys at the top are leading the young guys and teaching them how we do things. We need all 105 of these players to be with us when we play Sept. 2 (at Louisville).”
Phillips treated the players to ice cream after a practice last week and let them go swimming after Tuesday morning’s practice. He’s also invited former UK¿football players to attend Saturday morning’s scrimmage and then stay and have lunch with the team.