Kentucky’s Jacob Hyde found himself playing an unfamiliar position during spring practice last week: fullback.
The 6-foot-2, 333-pound sophomore was recruited to Kentucky as a defensive tackle but was asked to switch sides earlier in spring practice. It’s been a work in progress, but UK tight ends and fullbacks coach Vince Marrow is intrigued by the possibility.
“Can you imagine a 330-pound fullback with a full head of steam coming at you, and you’re a 230-pound linebacker? It’s not going to be good for him,” Marrow said per the Courier-Journal.
Hyde just wants to do whatever he can to help the team win.
“If Coach said, ‘Hey, you go stand on top of the stadium, on top of the press box every game, and we’ll win every game,’ I would be on top of the press box every game,” Hyde said.
Hyde is still practicing and trying to crack the rotation at defensive tackle but Marrow noticed how well he moved for his size on special teams last year and thought that he could help the offense.
“I gotta wonder when in the defensive meetings if them guys are mad at him,” Marrow said. “Because he’s bringing the boom.”
Redshirt freshman linebacker Denzil Ware said he had to go head-on with Hyde in practice. It didn’t go so well.
“I tried to juke big Hyde. I didn’t really want to meet him in the hole,” Ware said. “But then, after a while, I was like, ‘Man, I gotta hit him either way it goes.’ So when I first hit him, he knocked me on my butt.”
The Wildcats run an Air Raid offense under new offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson where fullbacks don’t play a huge role. With that said, Dawson wants to see how Hyde can handle catching the ball out of the backfield.
“I don’t know how good of hands he has, but he does a good job. He really does,” Dawson said. “He’s physical, low center of gravity, good in those heavy sets, situations where they kind of know you’re running it”
Maybe we’ll get to see Hyde coming out of the backfield like Oklahoma State’s James Castleman did last season in the Cactus Bowl, where the 6-foot-2, 311-pounder scored on a goal line run and caught a 48-yard pass.
Hyde says he’s never scored a touchdown on any level.
"Hopefully we get a couple touchdowns this season," Hyde said. "We'll see how Commonwealth Stadium reacts to that."
For more Kentucky news, CatsIllustrated.com.
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