Brooks, Archer: Youngsters Adding Depth

One of the guys that stood out to Coach Rich Brooks and a host of followers that checked out the pre-season roster sheet was the added weight and strength of junior defensive end, Dominic Lewis.

Saturday, in Kentucky's first controlled scrimmage of the spring, saw the Radcliff (Ky.) native finally put his added weight to good use - starring on the defensive side of the ball for the white team and earning some rave reviews from the UK football coaching staff.

"Dominic (Lewis) is doing some very good things and is really starting to show that he's getting comfortable at the defensive end position," Brooks said. "He's starting to show that he can really help us at that spot."

In a cold and windy morning in Lexington, naturally, the defensive side of the ball ruled the day, but it was Lewis who was consistently in the face of Andre Woodson and Curtis Pulley.

"Dominic really helped himself and has been a really great surprise for us and at a spot where we really needed someone to step-up," Defensive coordinator, Mike Archer said.

After consecutive springs of trial and error to find a position for the former John Hardin High School standout, the running back and tight end convert might have finally found a home at defensive ed.

"I think Rick Petri did a great job with him. You know, when we moved (Lewis) over, I had my doubts about his ability to play there, but Rick has really done a great job of getting him in shape. Dominic's done a great job, himself, but you see him daily getting better. With the rest of this spring and into training camp - he's a guy that's gonna get a shot at a lot of playing time."

Archer is excited about the continued improvement of his younger players. "We're light years ahead of where we were at this time, last year," Archer said. "You know, the best part about freshmen is that they become sophomores. So far, they've been able to handle it and I'm impressed with what some of the younger guys have been able to do."

Outside of Lewis, Archer and Brooks both named two defensive youngsters that significantly helped themselves after their respective performances on Saturday. Redshirt freshmen Michael Schwindel, redshirt freshmen Trevard Lindley and sophomore Myron Pryor.

"Myron Pryor has been a very pleasant surprise," Archer said about Pryor. "He really came on last year and has this spring, turned himself into a dominant defensive lineman. He's gotten in better shape and I'm not worried about him cramping up now. He's in the best shape of his life, right now."

"I like what Mike Schwindel did today," Archer added. "We gave him alot of reps, because we have to see what we have with the young safeties and corners and Mike did a nice job. I also would say Trevard Lindley is a guy that's gonna see a lot of playing time. We like what he's showing us at the position. Him and Trevard Lindley, who's got tremendous quickness and speed for the position."

Brooks echoed those sentiments on the Hancock County product, one of the Wildcats' first scholarship offers passed out for the highly regarded 2005 recruiting class.

"Schwindel really helped himself today," Brooks said. "He's a smart guy and has got some good size. I think we're starting to see some of the younger players come around and give us some depth."

Practice resumes Monday at 9 a.m. as Kentucky rides into the second half of its spring practice schedule.

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