Miller suspended one game, left off Kentucky depth chart for season opener
Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops began the team’s first game-week of 2014 by releasing his depth chart for the UT Martin game.
One glaring omission from the depth chart is starting left tackle Darrian Miller, who CBS’ Jeremy Fowler reports has been suspended one game for a violation of team rules. Miller, a two-year starter at left tackle, will be replaced by junior tackle Jordan Swindle for the game against the Skyhawks. Swindle should be the Cats starting right tackle the remainder of the season, and will be replaced on the right side Saturday by redshirt freshman Kyle Meadows.
Miller is expected to return for UK’s Week 2 showdown with Ohio University, moving Swindle back to right tackle.
As for the rest of the depth chart, Stoops listed true freshman quarterback Drew Barker as the co-backup along with redshirt freshman Reese Phillips. Stoops used the almighty depth chart “OR” to signify neither player has taken complete control of the No. 2 job, listing Barker “OR” Phillips as the backup.
Barker’s place on the depth chart indicates he has still not been redshirted for the 2014 season.
Stoops and offensive coordinator Neal Brown listed eight total wide receivers at four different receiver positions, and none of the eight are the injured Jeff Badet or Alex Montgomery, who should return sometime in September. Four of the eight receivers listed are freshmen.
The Wildcats’ coaches also confirmed what many fans expected at the tailback position, slotting Braylon Heard No. 1 ahead of sophomore Jojo Kemp. Fellow tailback Stanley “Boom” Williams is listed as a kick returner and could see time in the backfield as well.
Stoops, a former defensive coordinator at Florida State, also listed star senior Bud Dupree at Sam linebacker rather than his natural defensive end position. Dupree has played linebacker at times throughout his collegiate career and should still spend plenty of time on the defensive line in addition to outside linebacker, but the move to Sam leaves room for sophomore Jason Hatcher to take over as the other starting defensive end opposite Za’Darius Smith.
Matt Elam, the mammoth 375-pound true freshman defensive tackle, was listed as a second-string tackle on the season opening depth chart behind Melvin Lewis and Mike Douglas, but could work his way into the starting lineup as the season progresses.
In another of the team’s position battles this month, Josh Forrest won the starting middle linebacker job over TraVaughn Paschal, joining Dupree and Khalid Henderson in UK’s linebacker corps.
Stoops held a press conference at noon Monday to kick off Kentucky’s first game-week of 2014.