Integrity Defined Part 1 of 2

Lexington KY...Moving to a new area can be tough. One has to become acclimated to the local environment, learn their way around, and face many other challenges along the way. That is why this spring was a difficult one for Coach Gerald Carr. He was in a new place with a new environment to learn, but on top of that, he had little time and much to do when he moved from IU to UK in order to get ready for spring practice

With the many responsibilities of a coach, from recruiting, to getting to know the players, to domestic duties, going to a new place can be hectic and stressful, but I believe Coach Carr handled this situation the way he handles every situation, with cunning and class. His attitude and coaching ability quickly impressed his peers, as well as those of us who have watched him work since he arrived at UK. After a few months at UK and spring practice finished, I caught up with Coach Carr to get his impressions on the kids he is teaching and life as a Cat.

As we all know, mass defections from the running back position were a hot topic going into spring practice. With the loss of Chad Scott and Martez Johnson, what was once a strong position suddenly became a question in need of an answer. The question became more complex once Coach Rick Smith left and the running backs coach, Wesley McGriff, was switched over to defense to coach the cornerbacks. Would Artose stand up and take the position by the horns? Would the freshmen be able to contribute? Who are Alexis Bwenge and Ronald "The Rock" Johnson? Coach Carr needed answers to those questions as badly as the avid fan.

Spring practice began, and the answers to those questions became apparent quickly. Artose Pinner came in looking like an Adonis, after spending the winter in the weight room. Gerald Carr has coached many top-notch running backs through the years both at the college level and in the NFL and after getting a chance to work with Artose, he said the senior to be was, "as talented as I've seen." But who else is there to contribute? Coach Carr believes the other running backs are capable of stepping up when called upon and they will be called upon.

All the backs had their strong points. Senior Mike Kamphake really showed his heart, tough nature, and willingness to stick his neck out for big blocks at his fullback position before his injury. Redshirt freshman Alexis Bwenge is a physical specimen with talent. As Coach Carr puts it, "Alexis is still learning the American game of football, but makes strides and gets better everyday."

But the player that Coach Carr points out as THE man to watch this fall is redshirt freshman Ronald "The Rock" Johnson. "Ronald is a fullback with tailback skills. Can catch the ball out of the backfield, and even backup Artose if he needs a spell or goes down with an injury. He has no idea as to how good he can be, he is just a baby."

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