When Mark Stoops pressed the reset button on Kentucky’s offense, it gave the entire unit a fresh start. No one needed it more than Kentucky’s wide receivers. Tae Tae Crumes jumped for joy when he learned Liam Coen was joining the coaching staff.
“It was music to my ears,” Crumes told KSR at UK football media day. “I was happy he came in. We were talking and the plays are great. It’s more efficient. I like everything he’s doing, to be honest with you.”
During Crumes’ first two years in Lexington, the Kentucky passing game grew stale, to put it lightly. Kentucky finished at the bottom of the Power Five in passing offense in consecutive seasons. Now Crumes and the other Wildcat wide receivers can learn from a play-caller that most recently spent his Sundays on NFL sidelines. So far, it’s gone better than expected.
“It’s way easier to be honest,” Crumes described Coen’s offense. “It’s way more understandable in all of the steps we do to learning the plays. We have a lot of walk-thrus, a lot of playbook time. It’s a lot, but it’s easier, especially over the last two years. It was a lot harder for me to get everything down, but now I’m coming in and the new plays, the new scheme, everything just makes so much more sense to me.”
A three-star prospect from Louisville Butler High School in the class of 2019, Crumes was recruited by Vince Marrow to become a deep threat Kentucky desperately needed. He admitted that his career got off to a tough start. This offseason he made changes to put himself in a position to earn significant snaps on Saturdays.
“I’m way more in shape. I’m way more in tuned and locked in, to be honest,” said the wide receiver.
In 2020 the Wildcats had just four receptions of 30 yards or more. That simply won’t cut it. In addition to bringing in new players and coaches, this offseason Stoops publicly challenged Crumes to emerge as a vertical threat. The Kentucky kid has accepted the challenge. He’s already shown in early preseason practices that he’s ready for the task at hand.
“It doesn’t put pressure on me. It’s just the expectation he has for me and I need to reach it. I need to get passed it,” said Crumes.
“I gotta make a lot of deep ball catches. Any contested catch, anything, any way to put me on the field, that’s what I gotta do.”