Before every game — or even a scrimmage — Denzil Ware gets a text with a prayer from his mother.

“She will text me a little prayer just to make sure I always give thanks to the man above because without him, I would not be in this situation right now,” Ware said. “She has always done that. In high school I would give her my jersey and she would pray over my jersey that night and I would wear it during the day (of the game). It’s just something we have been doing since I started playing the game of football.”

Does it help? Ware believes so.

“I just know the man upstairs is always with me. Even when we are down or whatever, I just get by myself and say a little prayer with him. It’s just something I do. I am not a real religious person,” Ware said. “I am not no Tim Tebow type. But it is something I do believe in and if I talk to him (God) he will answer my needs and help me out with anything.”

He sometimes talks to team chaplain Aaron Hogue and prays with him.

“I call him the Pastor because he just always has something positive and great to say to me,” the UK junior linebacker said. “I appreciate that. I read a couple of chapters (of the Bible) per night just to make sure I stay up and pray. The day I am going to see him he (God) is either going to tell me I will live forever or I will burn in ….”

Ware is looking forward to Saturday night's game at South Carolina where his fumble return for a score helped spark a win two years ago.

“We know we can win there. We've done it before,” Ware said. “It's our SEC opener and winning the division is what we want to do and to do that, you have to win this game. We are looking forward to the challenge.”

***

Ask Kentucky sophomore linebacker Kash Daniel what he thinks of former NFL all-pro linebacker Buddy Curry and it’s not hard for him to answer. He calls him a “great man” to be around.

“I learned a lot from being around him. Not just about football but life in general when I worked a camp with him this summer,” said Daniel.

The former Paintsville High School standout volunteered to work at the Kids & Pros Youth Football Camp at Stanford in June. Curry, who played eight years with the Atlanta Falcons, has been putting on youth clinics across the country for 16 years.

Curry also is the father of UK freshman volleyball standout Gabby Curry. She was also at the same camp along with two teammates helping out in various ways.

“Kash just volunteered to come down and work,” Buddy Curry said. “It was a great joy to have him there. Him and my daughter are friends and he just wanted to help. He signed autographs and really worked hard on the field with the kids.

“Kash wants football to be great in Kentucky. He’s the kind of guy you want on the field. Us linebackers are very focused human beings. He is definitely that.”

Daniel was a high school All-American. So was Gabby Curry, the two-time Gatorade Player of the Year in Georgia and a top 50 player in the 2017 recruiting class.

“Gabby brought some friends to the camp and helped out with registration and things,” Buddy Curry said. “Growing up, she would go to the camps and participate. Some of the camps had games and the last day we had the camp Super Bowl. Gabby’s team more often than not won the Super Bowl. She was a great player, and knew how to recruit great players to be on her team.”

Buddy Curry says he’s already talking about not only bringing a camp back to Stanford in 2018, but also to other spots in the Bluegrass.

“There is every hope and reason that we will come back to Kentucky,” Buddy Curry said. “We did the second week of June this past year, so we may do it then or move it back a week. But I would love to come back. We are also thinking about going to Louisville. Maybe we will spend the whole week in Kentucky at different locations.”

Curry and his camp staff obviously teach proper fundamentals for young players to play the right way but also to play the safe way.

But he also has a one-hour session for parents and how they should let young players enjoy the game and forget the 5-year or 10-year plan for success some parents make for youngsters.

“I tell them, ‘Relax and let them play. They are 6 years old.’ It drives me crazy,” Buddy Curry said. “Parents have got to balance things with their kids. Once the kids get to high school, it’s different. Then you have to match the kids’ desire with taking them to colleges for visits. But don’t start planning that at age 6. Let them be kids.”

* * *

Central Kentucky sports fans — as well as others across the state — have been able to enjoy Larry Glover’s unique perspective on Kentucky sports on WVLK (590 AM) for two hours each week night.

Well, there’s good news and bad news. No longer will Larry Glover Live air on WVLK from 6-8 p.m. Monday through Friday. Instead, he’s now on WVLK each week day from noon to 3 p.m. That change started this week.

"We’ll still do sports quite a bit but I’ll have the freedom to expand the discussion into politics and current events,” Glover said Saturday before the UK-Eastern Kentucky game. “Think of it like this, if you and I went to lunch what would we talk about … that’s going to be the approach."

Glover even has a newspaper analogy for what his new show is like.

"For your newspaper readers, we’ll get into stories and topics that are front page and above the crease,” he said.

I’m happy for Glover. Doing a nightly two-hour radio sports talk show is not easy and takes a toll on anyone’s family life. This will give Glover more flexibility with what he does — and a lot more flexibility when it comes to family time.

“I love sports but its only a part of my interests. I'm really excited to debate the kind of issues that I typically wouldn’t bring up on the our evening sports show,” Glover said. “I think my listeners see me as opinionated but fair when talking about UK athletics. So I think they’ll appreciate a similar approach with other important topics.”

I think they will, too, and wish him nothing but the best.

* * *

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Kentucky quarterback commit Jarren Williams just continues to produce big numbers and gather more honors.

Recently the Georgia quarterback was picked to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. That’s the same game UK players Drew Barker, Landon Young, Drake Jackson, Kash Daniels and others have been in recently.

Williams said being picked was “dream coming to reality” for him.

His father, Anthony Williams, says the latest honor just shows his son’s work the last few years has paid off. He says the work/preparation his son puts in “to be better in every aspect of the game from film study, his training and leadership shows” on game night.

“He has that ‘it ‘factor and that something you can't coach. The way he quickly reads and processes defenses and finds the holes. Just an elite arm, mind, and work ethic,” Anthony Williams said.

* * *

There was never any proof that Dwane Casey put $1,000 inside an Emery Worldwide envelope headed for UK recruit Chris Mills in 1988 that mysteriously popped open and led to the NCAA placing Casey — then an assistant coach at UK — on five years probation. That ban was later rescinded when Casey settled his defamation lawsuit against Emery Worldwide.

“I learned from things that you can be accused of something you didn’t do. I know I didn’t do it,” Casey, now entering his seventh season as head coach of the NBA’s Toronto Raptors, said. “I am not saying I am a perfect person, but I didn’t do that. I can sleep at night every night knowing I did not do that.

“I have a clear heart and clear mind and understand what happened and what the university went through. I had no ill feelings toward the university. I learned from it and the whole university learned from it. It made me a stronger person. As the old saying goes, what does not kill you makes you stronger. It made me stronger. But I did not do what they said I did and settling the lawsuit should have told everyone that.”

He says not once in his NBA coaching career has he been asked by a team owner or general manager about what happened at UK.

“If they had asked, I would have had a pure heart telling them I was not running from responsibility because mistakes were made at Kentucky when I was coaching there. But I did not do what they accused me of,” Casey said. “That’s why the lawsuit was settled. If I had done what they said, they would not have given me the money they gave me to settle.

“I would not want anyone to go through what I did to clear my name or all that the university went through. But thankfully that is all in the past. That was 30 years ago. Life goes on. That’s one of those things you regret happened but there are no hard feelings on my part. I still love Kentucky. I am trying to convince my kids to go to Kentucky.”

* * *

Quote of the Week: “Will I get in trouble? Will you quote me if I say go Cards? We are from the city of Louisville, so we are going to support the Cardinals. If UofL-UK play, I am going with the Cards. But if Kentucky plays anybody else, I am pulling for the Cats. That’s us,” Linkin’ Bridge singer Big Rome Kimbrough on if he was a Louisville or Kentucky fan.

Quote of the Week 2: “He might be my favorite teammate ever. He’s one of the most underrated players ever. He never got enough credit for what he did. He was versatile, could run. He had a lot of rushing yards and a lot of receptions. He was one of the first dual threat players in the SEC,” former UK quarterback Tim Couch on UK teammate Anthony White.

Quote of the Week 3: “This one hurts worse than the last one because we definitely should’ve won it. But a few plays, penalties and turnovers … They beat us in the end, so got to give them props for that,” Eastern Kentucky defensive back Kobie Grace after last week’s loss at Kentucky.

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