BY LARRY VAUGHT
He was a four-star recruit in high school and all-state in South Carolina not only in football, but also basketball for two seasons. He picked Kentucky over offers from Arkansas, Clemson, Louisville, South Carolina and Mississippi.
Many expected Blake Bone to give UK a needed playmaker. At 6-5, he was the big, athletic target quarterbacks liked.
But in three seasons at UK, Bone has just 39 catches for for 486 yards and three scores. Last year he was not a major part of the offense as he had just five catches for 82 yards, and 57 of the yards came in the loss to Tennessee.
Kentucky coach Mark Stoops has talked about challenging Bone and laying out what he has to do. Bone has admitted he almost gave up football.
Receivers coach Lamar Thomas has spent a lot of time on and off the field with Bone. He’s not ready to write him off.
“He has had some come to Jesus meetings with myself and coach Stoops and we laid it on the line and he stepped up to the challenge and had a great spring practice,” Thomas said. “Really proud of him not just on the field, but off the field for the way he has handled himself.
“He seems like he wants it now. We will see exactly how he handles it. If I was a betting man, I would bet he would handle it great because I think he really wants it and understands what it is all about now.”
Thomas also seems to understand that Bone is a “little different dude” from others on the UK football team from his colorful hair styles to a variety of tattoos.
“He’s a different guy but you have a lot of different guys in your (meeting) room and my job is to coach them all up and let them know you have their best interest at heart and that you care. That’s how they get better and I truly believe he has gotten better since the end of last season,” Thomas said.