The presence of Chris Rodriguez Jr at the spring ball

LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) — As the Kentucky football team moves through spring training, it does so with an interesting balance of returning offensive starters working with a new offensive coordinator.

According to head coach Mark Stoops, Rich Scangarello is setting up an offense similar to what Liam Coen ran for the Wildcats last year, which is helping returning starters adjust to the pattern. That includes running back Chris Rodriguez Jr.

“Rich loves Chris that style of runner you know what I mean because he doesn’t back up very often so staying ahead of the strings is a big thing in this system and many systems so we like what we see there and we’re deep there too,” Stoops said.

He references fellow returning running backs Kavosiey Smoke, JuTahn McClain and La’Vell Wright, with Smoke seeing significant playing time last year directing the football and catching passes out of the backfield.

Rodriguez Jr. rushed for 1,379 yards in 2021, good for second in the SEC and fifth-best in program history. He currently ranks 6th in career rushing yards and can take first place in Kentucky running back lore if he racks up another 1,000 yard season.

“Chris is Chris where he does Chris’ kind of game is when the pads come on and it’s full contact and you can’t just tap him on the hip, you have to take his 230 pounds off of him , so it’s hard to see glimpses of what Chris can do in training settings, but once we get to full contact it’ll be good to see him get back to what he does best and what he’s known to do,” Levis said.

The Blue/White Spring Game is scheduled for Saturday April 9th. Another notable date on the schedule is Kentucky Pro Day, scheduled for Friday, April 1.

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