While this might not sound like a big deal, it should. Why? Because this gets former UK players back on campus and gives exposure to the football program.
Johnson, a former All-Southeastern Conference defensive end, played two years with the Arizona Cardinals before a hand injury sidelined him and basically ended his career. However, he hopes to have former UK players Artose Pinner and Marlon McCree, who are still playing in the NFL, at the camp along with former UK running back Anthony White, one of the most versatile players ever to play at UK. White is now attending classes at Kentucky to finish his degree just like Johnson is.
Other schools seem to take far better advantage of having former players back on campus than Kentucky does. Having a camp like this July 10-11 at UK gives some former players a chance to return to campus and maybe, just maybe, have some interaction with current players. Kentucky should be proud of McCree, Pinner and others playing in the NFL. Kentucky should be proud of former NFL players like Johnson.
Young players like to see those who have made the leap to the next level. That can inspire players. Those former players can also tell the current UK players what their college careers meant and maybe help instill even a little more school pride.
Kentucky does a great job with most things in its athletics department. However, if there is one shortcoming, it seems to have been not making former players, especially in football and men's basketball, feel welcome to come back on campus and be involved in the programs. Athletics director Mitch Barnhart and his staff have been working to correct that problem, and something as simple as Johnson's camp is an obvious, and needed, step in the right direction.