VAUGHT: UK football fans should pay attention


Posted Jul 27, 2005


While the main focus was on Tennessee coach Phil Fulmer’s return to the Southeastern Conference Media Days and Steve Spurrier coming back as South Carolina’s coach, Kentucky fans should pay more attention to what Mississippi quarterback Micheal Spurlock had to say.

While the main focus was on Tennessee coach Phil Fulmer’s return to the Southeastern Conference Media Days and Steve Spurrier coming back as South Carolina’s coach, Kentucky fans should pay more attention to what Mississippi quarterback Micheal Spurlock had to say.

No, he didn’t predict a national championship for his team, or Kentucky. He didn’t trash talk about the upcoming UK-Mississippi game.

Instead, he reaffirmed what Kentucky players all said in spring practice when it comes to new quarterback coach Kurt Roper, a former Ole Miss assistant who started Spurlock for four games last year.

“He is a lovable guy. I’m sorry he lost his job here, but he’s found new work, he’s still in the SEC and he’s doing what he loves. I wish the best of luck to him and the players he has,” Spurlock said. “He is a guy who will take you to the max every day. He wants you to have fun. He not only was your coach, but you were a friend of his. I loved that the most about him.”

Spurlock, like other SEC players, heard that UK players did not have that type of relationship with former offensive coordinator Ron Hudson. Spurlock knows the Cats, especially quarterback Andre Woodson, will like playing for Roper.

“They have a good man there. Hopefully, he will be there a long time and the kids there will be able to understand how special he is,” Spurlock said. “I don’t know how he did it, but he balances teaching you what you need to know and still making the game fun. He did it with me for four years and got the job done.

“I think one day he will be a great offensive coordinator, too. Hopefully, it will be soon for him because he really knows his stuff.”

Spurlock said he got to visit with Roper before Mississippi’s spring practice and that he’s already looking forward to seeing him again when the teams play in Oxford.

“He enjoys the game. He takes care of you. He tries to get the best out of you. We hated that he had to leave, but things happen and you move on. But when we play, I am sure going to make sure I see him. Tell him now that I said hello because he’s a good man,” Spurlock said.



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