His first two years at Kentucky he played in all 26 games but linebacker Kash Daniel really was not much more than just a special teams player.

    He admits it took some soul-searching to lead to the performance he 
had last season where he was third on the team with 84 tackles and 
ranked 24th in the SEC with 6.3 tackles per game.
    "After my freshman and sophomore years I was kind of thinking beyond 
football at that point because I was just a special teams guy and 
didn't have priorities straight in my life about what I wanted to 
do," said Daniel, a U.S. Army All-American coming out of Paintsville 
in eastern Kentucky. "I was falling behind in school and a lot of 
things like that.
    "It took a personal kick in the tail for me to say, ‘Hey, you got a 
lot of people counting on you and wanting you to succeed. You have 
got to want it more than what other people do.' I changed my 
lifestyle, I changed my mindset of how I think."
    Going into winter workouts after the 2017 season, Daniel told UK 
trainers he wanted to change and become an all-SEC linebacker — a 
very ambitious goal based on his first two years at UK.
    Not everyone can kick himself in the tail to change. Sometimes a 
coach can inspire an athlete to do that, but not every athlete has 
the discipline or drive to undertake the type of change Daniel did.
    "I had a decision to make. Do I want to be an all-SEC beer drinker 
or do I want to be an all-SEC linebacker? That's basically what it 
boiled down to," Daniel said.
    Obviously, one of those is a lot easier to do than the other one. 
However, Daniel was recently named a preseason all-SEC linebacker and 
plans to show he is that type of player.
    "You have the path of least resistance (beer drinker) or the hard 
path (linebacker). I definitely chose the hard path and I am very 
thankful and grateful that I did that," Daniel, who had 11 tackles in 
last season's historic win at Florida, said.  "Not only has it helped 
me on the football field but it will ultimately help me off the field 
as well.
    "I went to work from there. It's all about keeping a healthy body, 
mind and spirit. Just going through that and being where I am now, it 
is pretty surreal but I did definitely envision it (being all-SEC and 
a team leader) after I made that switch (mentally)."
Marrow is dynamic recruiter
    What makes Vince Marrow such a dynamic recruiter for Kentucky football?
    "I have four kids of my own and a son who played at Alabama and won 
a national title," Marrow, UK's recruiting coordinator and tight ends 
coach, said. "You have to find out what kids' interest are and what 
their parents are interested in. Who are the decision makers in the 
kid's life? What ups and downs has he been through?
    "The way I relate is the same way I relate to my own kids. Kids can 
tell you what their generation is like. I ask kids who is that 
singing that song. Stuff like that. I am like a kid really. I love 
kids, I really do.
    "My main thing is most kids we recruit are from inner cities, single 
mom, live with grandmother. I want to help change the direction of 
their life. Everybody is not going to play pro ball but I can help 
them get a degree and change their life."
    He also doesn't bash a player who doesn't pick UK and tells fans not 
to, either. He points to Florida State transfer linebacker Xavier 
Peters, a one-time UK commit, as why he never burns bridges.
    "I never talked to the kid again after he signed with Florida State, 
but when he wanted to leave to get back closer to home he knew he 
wanted to go to Kentucky. You just never know what might go full 
circle in recruiting," Marrow said. "If fans bash a kid after he goes 
somewhere else it can be a negative experience and he won't consider 
coming back.
    "I didn't really know what this fan base was like when I came here. 
The majority are really good. There is serious football support here. 
This is a very unique place. That's one I reason I have never left 
(for a another job) along with just loving the guys here. I want to 
be part of winning and get this place really going. We're heading 
that way, but there's still more we are going to do."
Hinshaw joins UK staff
    Darin Hinshaw didn't know a lot about the Kentucky football program 
before he joined coach Mark Stoops' staff but during coaching stops 
at Middle Tennessee, Tennessee and Cincinnati he had formed certain 
perceptions about the UK program.
    That's why he wasn't overly thrilled when Cincinnati offensive 
coordinator Eddie Gran told him that Stoops wanted him to join the UK 
program and he would like to have Hinshaw come with him if he made 
the move.
    "When Eddie brought that to my attention, I went, ‘Wait a minute. 
It's Kentucky. If they can win six games they are going to be lucky. 
We are going to the SEC, Eddie. Every week will be a war,'" Hinshaw, 
UK's co-offensive coordinator, said. "That was my perception.
    "Then I talked to Mark and we saw what money had been spent on 
football. I was lucky to come in at the right time. Mark sold us on 
believing we would be a really good team and it has happened. I am so 
glad that I came and now I am going into my fourth year."
    Hinshaw had lost his job at Tennessee and was set to go to Arkansas 
when he decided to call Gran, who had just got the job as offensive 
coordinator at Cincinnati under head coach Tommy Tuberville, to ask 
him what kind of offense he was going to us.
    "He said he was not sure and I told him I was looking for job and 
would like to present the offense we ran at Tennessee and also see 
what you want to do," Hinshaw said. "I wanted to be part of something 
special and build an offense rather than just a quarterback coach or 
receivers coach at SEC. I was very blessed to get hired."
    The two have now been together for seven years and Hinshaw says they 
are "very close" on and off the field.
    Hinshaw said he's glad Stoops and his staff not only started 
recruiting heavily in Kentucky but have continued to do so
    "When I was at Cincinnati you never used to see Kentucky up north. 
They always recruited the South," Hinshaw said. "Mark's impact 
recruiting Ohio has been terrific and is only going to keep getting 
better the more we can win."
Boston makes verbal commitment
    Chris Fisher, recruiting analyst for The CatsPause and 247Sports 
Network, believes it weighed heavily on guard Brandon Boston Jr. when 
he visited UK during the season and the Cats thumped Auburn. That 
perception didn't change even after Auburn beat UK in the Elite Eight.
    Boston, a top 10 player, was UK's first verbal commitment in the 
2020 recruiting class.
    "Kentucky really did a good job wrestling momentum away from Auburn 
and then Duke," Fisher said. "It's really a significant move to the 
get the No. 2 shooting guard and No. 10 overall player in the class 
committed.
    "I think he's just scratching the surface of what he can do, too. 
He's one of the most versatile players and smoothest scorers you will 
see. His arsenal will only develop as he adds strength. He's a huge 
first piece of what could be a dynamic recruiting class."
    Fisher says Boston fits perfectly in the Calipari recruit mode — a 
player who will sacrifice playing time/individual numbers to play 
with other great players.
    "He also knows not a lot of McDonald's All-Americans stay at 
Kentucky for their junior seasons," Fisher said. "Kentucky could well 
lose Tyrese Maxey, Ashton Hagans, Immanuel Quickley and Johnny Juzang 
all off this team (to the NBA). That's what makes him such an 
important building block for your next team."
Some fans unhappy with decision not to serve alcohol at sporting events
    Kentucky athletics director Mitch Barnhart's decision not to have 
general alcohol sales at UK sporting events this year — or in the 
near future — certainly touched off a controversy with Kentucky fans.
    Those who wanted alcohol sales at Kroger Field for football games 
thought it was unfair that alcohol will continue to be available in 
elite seating areas but not for the general public. Those against 
alcohol consumption were glad Barnhart didn't have UK join a few 
other schools that have decided to have alcohol available for fans 
this football season.
    Allison Tamme's husband, former UK all-SEC tight end Jacob Tamme, 
played nine years in the NFL. He's in the UK Athletics Hall of Fame 
and is a Barnhart supporter.
    "I respect Mitch and this decision. After taking my babies to dozens 
of NFL games and having beer spilled on them, on me, on our coats, 
bags, etc. it's a welcome change of atmosphere (at Kroger Field) and 
something I don't have to worry about as a parent," Allison Tamme said.
    "Not to mention the language, arguments and rowdy and/or dangerous 
behavior that ensued for being over served at games."
    Others obviously have different opinions but considering the number 
of games Allison Tamme has attended with her children in various 
stadiums (and her husband played for three teams that made the Super 
Bowl), I thought her opinion was worth sharing.
Hinshawn creates buzz with statement
    Co-offensive coordinator Darin Hinshaw created a little bit of a 
buzz when he said quarterback Terry Wilson might throw 40 times per 
game—twice his average from last year—this season. Coach Mark Stoops 
didn't totally embrace that thought at UK's Media Day but also said 
he would do "whatever it takes to win" and did not rule out passing 
more with all-time leading rusher Benny Snell Jr. gone on offense and 
All-American Josh Allen and five secondary players gone off defense.
    However, don't forget that Wilson is also a nifty runner and could 
run more if needed as well.
    "All our quarterbacks have to run. Are we going to run them to 
death? No. Most of the time when Terry runs it, it will be because 
the defense allows him to," Hinshaw said.
    "He ran really good on Florida (in a win last year) but they didn't 
know exactly who he was. People learned and defenses a great job not 
letting him run later in the season but then his passing numbers went 
up."
    Hinshaw expects teams, especially in the SEC, to make UK throw the 
football with no proven receiver returning except Lynn Bowden.
    "Most improvement needed for us will be passing the football," 
Hinshaw said.
    Hinshaw, Stoops and offensive coordinator Eddie Gran met with NFL 
coaches during the offseason to find ways to improve Wilson's passing.
    "We have changed a lot of things he was doing with his steps, a lot 
of things with his shoulder, being on target more. He was over 
striding, so we shortened his stride. Very excited about where he is 
at now and where he is going," Hinshaw said.
 
    Quote of the Week: "I would like to think Kentucky can close the 
deal on in-state guys like him. Kentucky has been really strong in 
Louisville the last couple of years with with the Cards taking a step 
back. But he would be a fantastic addition at a position they need 
help," Jeff Drummond, Cats Illustrated managing editor, on UK getting 
a commitment from Bowling Green safety Vito Tisdale.
    Quote of the Week 2: "If you're one of best 11, you know what to do 
in that situation, in that package, you're going to be on the field. 
If you don't, if you're a 50/50 guy, if you know it sometimes, don't 
know it others, for me knowledge is power. The guys that know it are 
going to be the guys that play," UK defensive coordinator Brad White 
on playing true freshmen.
    Quote of the Week 3: "I try to find their weakness and see where you 
are weak and expose that and make you feel embarrassed. Playing on 
the offensive line is a double whammy. You've got to (tear them 
down), play with their mind and beat them physically," UK senior 
Logan Stenberg, a preseason All-American, on the mentality it takes to play in the offensive line.

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