Stoops sheds light on the Cats

Wildcat Insider was pleased to offer a special bonus to its premium subscribers. A lucky handful were on hand to have a brief luncheon chat with head football coach Mike Stoops.

Coach Stoops came into East Coast Super Subs and chatted with 20 or so subscribers for a good 45 minutes. While many tasty sub sandwiches were consumed, coach Stoops gave a brief overview of spring ball, answered questions and just plain talked football.

Coach Stoops was very candid with the fans, talking about the difficulty in changing the mindset of the players that were there when he took over and what he thought of the APR system.

He had high praise for the offensive line, especially redshirt freshmen Daniel Borg, Eben Britton, Adam Grant and Blake Kerley.

Coach Stoops is still high on guys like Willie Tuitama and Chris Henry. He feels Tuitama is a "special" quarterback and that Henry, while not a natural running back, has all the tools to be big time.

At wide receiver he really felt like Mike Thomas and Syndric Steptoe were going to be factors, but that they needed some outside receiving help.

"I hope Terrell Reece and DeLashaun Dean can pick it up like Mike Thomas did," Stoops said.

Stoops went on to say that wide receiver, along with running back, may be the two easiest positions to play as a true freshman. He felt that offensive line, linebacker and defensive back were the toughest.

A number of incoming freshmen can play on either side of the ball and Stoops said the challenge would be to balance making the players happy and helping the team.

On the defensive end, Stoops had high praise for Lionel Dotson, Johnathan Turner and Jason Parker on the defensive end. He expressed some concern for the DE due to Marcus Smith's slow recovery from his injury last season, but overall he seemed quite pleased.

"Our d-line will be much improved," Stoops said.

He was also thrilled with the three young defensive ends that the Wildcats signed for next fall.

"We signed three really great young defensive ends," said Stoops.

Although there is little depth at corner back, Stoops was not worried. He feels they will get both Devin Ross and Michael Turner ready, but try to only play one.

As of now the staff will turn to Kyle McQuown to handle the punting duties, but won't hesitate to turn to Nick Folk if needed. He also noted that they have confidence in Folk from 55-yards, maybe more with a wind behind him.

Wildcat Insider will have more special, premium subscriber events over the next few months.

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