Offensive Staff Developing Depth, Competition This Spring

Offensive Staff Developing Depth, Competition This Spring

by Tim Letcher

As new Kentucky offensive coordinator Bush Hamdan installs and builds his first UK offense, there is one particular thing he’s looking to increase – depth. That’s because having multiple players at each position creates a positive situation for all involved.

“I think the number one thing for us is building competition at every position because when you build that competition and they see six, seven, eight guys that could be in that starting rotation, for all of us, that makes us raise our level,” Hamdan said.

One position that has made an impact early with the new UK OC is the tight ends. Hamdan praised that group after practice on Tuesday.

“I actually feel that that group is further ahead than any other group on the offense,” Hamdan said. “Vince (Marrow) obviously does a tremendous job. There’s certainly three to four players in that group that we can go out there and win with today. We need to continue to bring those guys along.”

Another position that seems to have depth, according to Hamdan, is running backs, where veterans Chip Trayanum and Demie Sumo-Karngbaye are joined by a talented group of younger backs.

“We’ve got some young running backs who are doing some really good things,” Hamdan said. “I think you certainly have got to have multiple backs carry the ball and be successful. Right now, that group is getting better. I think that running back group is potentially the most improved of all of the units. Those guys are getting a lot of reps, a lot of carries. Really fortunate to have Chip here, Demie’s doing a great job and the young backs are really coming along.”

The play of the Kentucky offensive line has been inconsistent the past two years. After the 2023 season, Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops chose to bring back Eric Wolford as the offensive line coach. Wolford previously served in the same position in 2021. He likes where his unit is early in spring practice sessions.

“I think, obviously, Coach Stoops, his staff, Coach Marrow, I feel like at this very moment, we probably have more depth than we did the last time I was here,” Wolford said. “We were really, really thin at that time. Coach Stoops always talks about wanting to have seven or eight guys to play winning football. It’s not just go out there and play. You need seven or eight guys that can play winning football that you can put in at any time of the game. We’re a work in progress. I enjoy working with these guys and I have their attention.”

In addition to installing a new offense this spring, Hamdan and his offensive staff are trying to create depth that will create competition at each position. Early in the midst of the spring season, it seems to be working well.

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