Posted: Aug 16, 2012 2:09 PM by Alan Cutler
Updated: Aug 16, 2012 2:10 PM
He's a senior and a three-year starter. Matt Smith is not only one of the rocks of UK football, but doubles as one of the smartest Cats.
The big news for the center from Louisville from this training camp might sound boring, but it's important.
"I'm healthy," says Smith.
"Last year I think I made it three or four days into camp and I went down with an ankle injury so, so far we've been very fortunate with keeping guys healthy for the most part. We've had a few dings here and there but nothing serious so far. As long as we keep everyone healthy, we will improve a lot more than we did last year."
Everyone knows that UK has to win more. But, through it all, Smith believes Joker hasn't changed around the players, and he appreciates that a lot.
"Around us he's always been a players coach. He's always been real down to earth with us and good buddies with us. We feel like we can come to him and talk about anything with him. That's never changed. I love that no matter what, with all the flack he's taken from the outside, how hard it's been for him with the program, he's always able to keep his cool with us and be the same with us. That's why everyone comes here for. That's why I came here because he did such a good job recruiting me. I know he's, a lot of guys love him and we know how much he loves this program and how much it means to him so he's going to work harder than anyone you've seen to keep this thing running."
When a coach has your back, you want to play harder for him.
"You really do and you know that you don't want to disappoint him. He's like the Dad that you know the worst thing your parents can tell you they are disappointed in you. And when you have a parent like Coach Phillips who is so cool with you, you don't want to disappoint him. You want to work hard so he's not out there yelling. You like it when he's happy. He's a great guy. He's a happy guy when you are doing things right. And we want that side to come out."
That side starts to come out if UK beats Louisville on September 2.