VAUGHT: Coach Sumrall impressed with frosh

Jon Sumrall wishes he was competing with Braxton Kelley, not coaching him. However, since an injury ended Sumrall's UK career last spring, he's been helping new linebacker coach Chuck Smith and Sumrall has been impressed with what he's seen from Kelley, a true freshman.

Sophomore Joe Schuler suffered a concussion that has kept him out of practice and elevated Kelley to the No. 1 position at inside linebacker. It's a move Kelley has embraced.

"Braxton has been playing really well. He has picked up everything really fast," Sumrall said.

Surprisingly fast considering he's a freshman and college defenses are supposed to be so complicated? "To be running the defense as he has as a true freshman, he's doing remarkably well," Sumrall said. "He's so aware of what is going on around him. He's very conscious of everything. He just keeps making good decisions. He makes great reads because he is such an instinctive player. Right now he's just doing a great job playing off his natural ability as he learns the system."

So is Kelley running No. 1 only because Schuler is injured or would Kelley have made this push no matter what because of his football ability? "You have just the right set of circumstances at work here. An injury gave him a chance to get more repetitions early and then he's a great player," Sumrall said. "As soon as I saw him, I knew he was going to push guys for playing time no matter what happened.

"He didn't just walk into what he's doing. No one just gave him a position. He's a great player and deserves everything he is getting right now. A lot of things can dictate when you get your chance, but when that chance comes you have to take advantage of it and he certainly has done that. "


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