Before he became the head coach at Garrard County, Mark Scenters was the offensive line coach at Madison Central in Richmond and had the opportunity to coach current Kentucky junior offensive lineman Larry Warford for two years after he moved from California to Kentucky.
Scenters shared these insights on Warford, a preseason all-Southeastern Conference pick and potential 2012 NFL draft choice.
Question: Do you remember the first time you met Larry Warford and your impressions of him?
Scenters: “Yes, very well. Coach (Kenny) Turner asked me to come with him to meet a young man that was transferring in from San Diego. His father was retiring from the Navy and they were moving home to Richmond. I'm not sure either of us new what to expect but we walked in and shook hands with his father, and then Larry stood up to shake hands. Coach Turner and I kind of looked at each other and without words said, ‘Thank you God.’”
Question: How hard did he work in high school to improve?
Scenters: “From the first day I saw him work out, he was a hard worker. I think he really wanted to prove himself early on and through football he had an immediate avenue to fit in at the school. Then the drive seemed to move more towards really making the most of his ability. He wanted to be the best, as a team and an individual.”
Question: Have you been surprised at his success at UK?
Scenters: “Not at all. I will say that I was a little surprised at how quickly he started to work his way into the rotation just because the jump for an Offensive Lineman is such a dramatic one. But I felt pretty certain that with Larry's desire and work ethic, coupled with that God given size and agility, he'd be just fine at UK.”
Question: What impresses you the most about him now on the field?
Scenters: “I think it's the same thing that has always impressed me about him. He has a great ability to move for a young man of his size. His center of gravity is low, but with great arm length which I believe is what makes him such a devastating blocker. He's very versatile, he can pull, he can work in tight spots or in space, has the strength to work north and south and the agility to work laterally.”
Question:?How proud would you be of your role in his development if he makes the NFL?
Scenters: “I can't say that proud would be the way I will feel. Now I'm very proud of him and the work that he has put in to give himself this opportunity, but I know that he would have worked just as hard for his team regardless if the NFL ever became an option.I feel like it was an honor to have the opportunity to coach the young man. It will be very neat to be able to watch an NFL game with my sons, and say, ‘Hey guys look, there's Larry. Remember when we coached him?’”
Question: What is Warford like as a person when he's not playing football?
Scenters: “As we got to know him, he's just such a great young man. Great personality, always wanting to have fun. He fit in with his teammates and our program so easily. He's just an awesome kid. My son's were really young when he came to Central, but Canon (my oldest, 8 now) remembers him well and Larry was really kind to him. He has always been very respectful to all of his coaches. Very receptive to what we were trying to teach and accomplish. He's really a guy who likes to have a lot of fun. Always smiling, dancing, doing something to get everyone going. In my opinion, the kind of guy that you meet and can say, my life's a little better for knowing that guy.”