Coen big on freshman class

Published 9:15 am Saturday, January 6, 2024

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With the recent high school and transfer portal additions to next year’s Kentucky football team, offensive coordinator Liam Coen hopes three true freshmen on this year’s team could make a big difference on the 2024 roster.

Tight end Khamari Anderson, receiver Shamar Porter and running back Jamarion Wilcox got “tons of reps” during UK’s practice sessions before the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl.

“They got reps they may not have gotten on the scout team early in the year. They got some good-on-good reps with the offense and I am excited about what they can do going forward,” Coen said.

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“Khamari showed flashes during the season of what he could do. I am excited to work with and develop Shamar during the offseason. Same with Jamarion. They all have to dedicate themselves to the offseason, really hit the weight room, do what they need to do academically to become the best versions of themselves.”

Porter put his name into the transfer portal before changing his mind and staying at Kentucky.

“In today’s college football world you have to stay open-minded about things that happen and I’m just glad to have him here to work with,” Coen said.

Wilcox never got an opportunity to show what he could do as a true freshman because Ray Davis became the running back workhorse. Coen likes what he could bring to the offense next season.

“He is fast, he is shifty, he can stick his foot in the ground and go,” Coen said.  ‘He needs to  work on getting stronger and add some weight.”

However, Wilcox has special skills already.

“He can really run. He gives you a burst that is exciting to see. I have not seen him a ton live but he can run and he can roll. Hopefully he can run hard for us and be special next season.