UK FOOTBALL | Flannigan, Forrest duo reunited vs. Missouri
09/24/2015 05:06 PM
LEXINGTON — Reunited, and it feels so good.
A veteran leader will rejoin Stoops Troops this weekend when the Kentucky Wildcats battle the No. 25 Missouri Tigers at Commonwealth Stadium.
Senior linebacker Ryan Flannigan will take the field for the first time this season on Saturday after missing the first three games of the year with a shoulder injury he suffered during fall camp.
The setback happened after a collision with 320-pound defensive-lineman-turned-fullback Jacob Hyde, and Flannigan worried how his shoulder would respond after returning to contact drills this week.
“I was a little nervous coming back,” said Flannigan after Wednesday’s practice, “but once I got that first pop, it all went out my head.”
Behind only fellow senior linebacker Josh Forrest, Flannigan had the second most tackles of any returning UK player this year, and defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot is glad to finally have his defensive duo back on the field together.
- “Anytime you play alongside somebody for a period of time, you become more comfortable with each other and understand how to feed off each other and how to communicate certain things that you see,” Eliot said of Flannigan and Forrest. “So, it’s good to have two guys who, along with Khalid (Henderson), have now played together two years.”
- “Oh yeah, that’s my boy; that’s my main dog right there,” Flannigan said about Forrest. “We just keep each other going, on and off the field. We know what’s at stake. We know what we want to do with the defense, and we just try to be leaders out there. We try to keep everybody’s heads up. We just know we want to get to a bowl game and just win.”
The Wildcats and Tigers kickoff at 7:30 p.m. ET on Saturday at Commonwealth Stadium.
Click below to watch KSTV’s discussion on why Flannigan’s return will strengthen what is an already talented Kentucky defense: